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Against Which

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  143 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
An exploration of the various ways language can help us transcend both the banal and unusual cruelties which are inevitably delivered to us, and which we equally deliver unto others. These poems comb through violence and love, fear and loss, exploring the common denominators in each. Against Which seeks the ways human beings might transform themselves from participants in ...more
Paperback, 71 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by CavanKerry Press
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Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I kept thinking that this is what you'd get if Walt Whitman grew up in Philadelphia in the late 20th century. Such a great set of poems. Some are a little intense, but most are so beautifully worked. I will be buying some of this guy's books.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2015
3.5 stars, i think. when ross gay is on, he is so very ON.
May 15, 2009 added it
Shelves: poetry
I bought this book after hearing Gay read at Asheville Wordfest. I liked his way. Liked the new poems (Syndromes) he was reading. With the book, I was more impressed.... and then also a bit more wary. There are really drop-dead gorgeous poems in here. And Gay is wrestling with some of the big stuff: dead parents, cruelties of childhood,the hard lives of rural working class folks. It’s good poetry. “Against Which” is wonderful. A poem that plays with plot and language and sings. “The Bullet, in I ...more
Mandy E
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
What I love to see is that the joy and exuberance that Gay exudes in his most recent work has been there from the beginning. The way he troubles the relationship between pain and violence and joy feels profound and complex. I also love to witness the tenor of the relationship between Gay and the poet Gerald Stern, who wrote the introduction to this volume and seems to be a kind of mentor to Gay. The tenderness and dialogue between these two men that is opened to the reader (there is also a poem ...more
Chris Schaeffer
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this in my girlfriend's car on a long drive to Lancaster to visit our departing friends-- or to visit some friends in a new apartment-- either way, somebody leaving or arriving. This book was recommended to me by the sublime Nzadi Keita way back in 2008, and it's a disgrace that I took two years to heed her advice.
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There is a lot I'm impressed with in this book. A LOT! All the poems have so much life and fresh energy. But what I am fascinated with is Gay's facility with violence and the potentially exaggerated scene. It's amazing to me that he could have a poem like "Broken Mania" that still maintains a credible stance for what seems to me incredible.
Elliott Battzedek
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drew-mfa-poets
In "Against Which" Ross Gay manages to be sparse and musical and honey-thick and world-bitter and hopeful all at the same time. One is not the same after reading a single poem; reading the collection shows why American poetry is exploding in a thousand directions, all of them good.
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to aya by: evan
Shelves: the-best
definitely one of the best books of poetry i've ever read. this guy is absolutely incredible. never sappy, he has whittled everything down to the essentials. what remains is the spine of life without pretensions, posturing or sap. he is a practically perfect poet.
Mike Phelan
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how to review poetry, except to say that I will take the word "rainbathed" with me forever, to link to a reading of "The Bullet, In Its Hunger," and to say that if you read this book, please, please read it out loud.
Jessey Nickells
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was an amazing book to travel with. I found myself re-reading poem after poem, wanting to turn and exchange it with the person next to me. There is something about Ross' experiences that make you homesick for the connections you could make.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
went to a poetry reading by ross, who is a regular at my job, and a friend of his. was blown away by his words, couldn't breathe half the time, so cool to actually know a poet whose words i love. reading his book propels my brain into writing mode.
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ross Gay is a treasure who deserves all the good things for writing these amazing, powerful, soft poems and allowing us to read them.
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
"The Walk" is very nice.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets
Good first book. Some truly excellent poems, one of the better first books I've read.
Jenny Nolan
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ross Gay is an incredibly talented poet. This is one you will go back to time and time again, finding new meaning and inspiration in his words.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Powerful and articulate poetry; muscular verse.
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Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. He is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sport ...more
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