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The Tether

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Graceful and resonant new work by a lyric poet at the height of his skill.

As I understand it, I could
call him. Though it would help,
it is not required that I give him
a name first. Also, nothing
says he stops, then, or must turn.
--from "The Figure, the Boundary, the Light"

In the art of falconry, during training the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is g
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 3rd 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 3rd 2001)
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Jesse
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
While Phillips's poetry remains gnawingly opaque, after a second volume of luminous poems I'm starting to adjust to the register he operates in--finding myself able to latch onto strings of thoughts and emotions, beginning to relish the puzzle each syntactically inverted line presents. Often I had the impression of skating easily along the crystalline surfaces of the words until suddenly, unexpectedly, dropping into the gaping caverns of emotions lurking beneath. Will inevitably read more.

"I hav
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Holly
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, 2011-reads
I bring to/get from Carl Phillips's poems something different every time I read them. Challenging poems. My favorites of this collection: "Words of Love," "A Force, and Would Consume Us," "The Pinnacle," and "Revision."

. . . steadfastness remains
one of my two gifts, the other
less gift, perhaps, than simply a matter
of
I can't help it,
namely a knack for making anything

mean something.
Alisha
Dec 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like modern poetry
Shelves: poetry
Phillips's poems are unpredictably wounding. He writes as if English were not a word-order language: each sentence seems, at first, out of order. After reading it again, though, it becomes clear that his rearrangement of words hasn't compromised clarity, but rather brought a new, subtle meaning to the poem.

He has an ability to draw large, abstract meaning from simple objects or events; his awareness and intelligence in doing this surprising me anew as I read more and more of his books. His heavy
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Karen Lepri
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of almost everything Carl Phillips has written--I get sucked into his hyper-punctuated, abandoned/refound/abandoned/refound rule-bound/broken syntax. This book is a good example of these maneuvers, but not as sexy as, say, some later poems in Riding Westward.
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Carl Phillips is the highly acclaimed author of 10 collections of poetry.

He was born in 1959 to an Air Force family, who moved regularly throughout his childhood, until finally settling in his high-school years at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Boston University and taught high-school Latin for eight years.

His first
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