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Crush

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  20,037 ratings  ·  1,489 reviews
Richard Sikens Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In the world of American poetry, Siken's voice is striking. In her ...more
Paperback, 62 pages
Published April 11th 2005 by Yale University Press
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Readtolive Well it really depends on your teenager, age and maturity wise. The book is excellent with intense, sometimes graphic descriptions. I would wait if…moreWell it really depends on your teenager, age and maturity wise. The book is excellent with intense, sometimes graphic descriptions. I would wait if he/she is within the 12-15 band [older than that it would be alright but still depends on you].In any case the book is highly recommended, read it first and you can get to decide yourself on it! (it is short too) (less)
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anna (½ of readsrainbow)
siken captures the Gay Longing in such a perfect, powerful way & suddenly you feel your heart taking root in your body

also it's cool how u can just know that a person is straight™ if they claim they 1) don't understand why blood & death r such prominent themes in these poems and/or 2) didn't find any deeper meaning in them
Kirstine
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"and the gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it.
"

I read Richard Siken's poem "Wishbone" on the internet. I read it once and closed the page. The next day I was painfully aware I couldn't leave it behind. That my mind kept circling back to his words. So I read it and re-read it again and again. Dozens of times, until I realised it would never be enough, so I ordered his book.

I have never in my life anticipated the arrival of a book more than I did
...more
Nick
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me after I read this. There's a thread of a story here, but it's abstract and shadowed. Almost a ghost of a story. What's left are the raw emotions of the actual experience, which is what great poetry is: distilling the massive events that make up a life until there's nothing left but the urgent parts, the ones that carry the meaning.
Kenny
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
kiss

"Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running until they forget that they are horses.
It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere, it's more like a song on a policeman's radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That
...more
C
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Ugh why does everyone love this book? Siken, the winner of the 2004 Yale Series, is clearly a capable poet, and there were a few moments in this collection that were beautiful and lucid. Otherwise, though, the poems are so overblown (too many words going in too many directions) and drowning in imagery of bodies, knives, and death. Oh, and SO much cheesy, disembodied dialogue.

The form of the poems in this collection felt like a cop-out: you can only splatter lines across a page so many times
...more
JV (semi-hiatus)
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, 2018, poetry, gay-lit
We interrupt this broadcast to present you this breaking news:



Your regularly scheduled programming will resume once the emotions of this reviewer have been properly boxed and tamed.



Poems:

(view spoiler)
...more
— Massiel ✨maybe reading hiatus✨
Crush was so damn bad. I hate so much to DNF a book and this only has 62 pages and I wanted so bad to DNF.

This little poetry book is divided into three parts, the author at first doesn't tell you what is going on but later all the parts are related and is kind of a story. Mostly every chapter contain the word kill, suicide, and hit it was tiresome reading the same chapters over and over with the same words just in different scenarios, the person who speak and tells these stories is in an
...more
Whitney Atkinson
Once again, I return to rating poetry on a scale of "how much of it did I understand?" This one's language is easy to follow and the entire thing is comprehensive and you can really see the emotions and angst, but still, I couldn't find any deeper meanings in the poems. Perhaps I couldn't relate to them, but for the majority of this, I wasn't impressed.

My favorites from this collection: Little Beast, Litany in which Certain Things are Crossed Out, and You Are Jeff #24
Patrick Duggan
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
SIken's Crush, his first book which also won the Yale Young Poets' award in 2004, is one of he most complete works of poetry I've come across in years.

He uses the pacing of his long line to slow time, and create a darker atmosphere within the verse, where shadows move from walls and creep along the legs of lovers. Time drags in elongated moments, or appears in flashes of memory and scenescape. His pace and image teach us fight from the first two pages how to read the work, and how to prepare
...more
Vishous
When I started reading this I couldn't believe what I got myself into.

I am not a poetry fan so some parts at the beginning cracked me up and I tried to find some sense in them and I failed.

But later... Some parts... Most parts ... Literally broke my heart...

And for those parts I am giving this 5 stars because I can't 4.5.

QUOTISH SPOILERS


description

(view spoiler)
...more
lily ☁️
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to lily ☁️ by: anna (½ of readsrainbow)
Shelves: poetry, lgbtqiap-rep
This started off really well, but after a few poems I became detached, bored, confused by the metaphors (were they even metaphors?), and slightly irritated by the repetitive use of the same imageries.

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...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it. With all my heart and tears. The pain and pleasure of reading the pain and pleasure of someone else's pain and pleasure.
'hayat
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(I read this sleepless and aching.
I've read parts of this book separately and reading it whole now takes me to places I thought I left, a previous lover read to me a poem by him, I've read lines of the book once so many times that some days of mine were titled by some of these verses.
By the end of the book I was just drained from the bits of me that Siken's words swallowed.
The poem Saying Your Names should be read loudly, so loudly that the names and the verses will take place in your mind and
...more
Daniel
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry, lgbtq
Do you remember Prometheus?

That thief of fire who was bound to the rock in order for the vulture to pick at his liver, every day? That liver grew back every day for the sole purpose of being eaten again. The liver wasnt helpful to Prometheus, it was only a source of pain. Can you imagine what it would be like to know that your liver would be eaten from your body day after day? There must be an immense sense of dread, knowing that whats going to happen today is inevitable.

This is not a book
...more
ellie
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
its fitting that this book is called crush with how it crushes you and then youre left lying on your bed at 3am wondering who you were before you knew these words.

in other words, it was fucking amazing.
...more
Frau Sorge (Yuki)
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012, poetry, m-m
I think that's the most beautiful piece of poetry I've ever read. I won't convince you. Here's my fav poem.

Little Beast

1
An all-night barbecue. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
The radio aches a little tune thet tells the story of what the night
is thinking. It's thinking of love.
It's thinking about stabbing us to death
and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
That's a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey kisses for everyone.


Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating a fruit pie with a buckknife
...more
Joshie
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, poetry, lgbt
A poetry collection inconsolable of its particular homosexual aching and desire, Crush grinds words into a cup of caffeine-infused affection. Whilst it also traverses realisations and remembrances throughout the complications of same sex attraction, it is insatiably hungry for love and the many faces it dons. It ravages it with kisses until it's bruised. It leaves. It comes back. And there is a cyclic element amongst the relationship/s this collection macerates into nimble physical ...more
j
like millionth re-read: aug/22/2016

fckinng kill me. i'm still too in deep w/ this shit. do i really need to say anything? this is my fave poetry collection. i adore richard siken's way with words and i cry every time i read it.

original read: jan/30/2014
mwpm
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to mwpm by: Chaneli
Shelves: poetry
The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. The competition is open to any American under forty years of age who has not previously published a volume of poetry.

The Thom Gunn Award is an annual literary award, presented by Publishing Triangle to honour works of gay male poetry. First presented in 2001 as the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry, the award was renamed in memory of American poet Thom Gunn, the award's first winner, following his death in 2004.
...more
Liz
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
First, I found this fragment from "Planet of Love" on the internet:



I didn't pay much attention to the feelings it invoked the first time. I remember saving it amongst my favourites and then going back to business, however things changed when I found myself coming back to this exact fragment over and over and over again in the following days.
What did I do afterwards? Right, I searched for some more fragments. And then I just ordered the whole book hoping that unlike most modern poetry
...more
⊱ Poppy ⊰
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cover-porn, poetry
Well, HONESTLY speaking I started this book with really high hope's. Richard Siken is pretty much an spectacular writer, but this book was JUST not for me! The style and writing was awesome, if I was a critic I would've rated this book a 5star, but NO I am NOT a critic and I will only give my precious stars to the book I love!!

"Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it."


But some poetry hit home!! Like literally
...more
tee
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, poets
I've had this book on my shelf for ages and have been holding off reading it because I didn't want to read it and it be over. You know how it goes? So I kept saving it. My partner pointed it out to me the other day (I keep it on my bedside table), and said, "uh-oh, she's drawn all over the cover." - referring to my 1.5 year old daughter. Seeing my crestfallen face he asked what book it was and I said, "Oh, just only my favourite." Even though I hadn't yet read it. I had breathed in snatches of ...more
Pavellit
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: If you feel like you've spent too much time doing crap things.
Shelves: glbt, short, poetry
I have always wondered what is the essence that makes prose a lasting memory and deeply flows into my veins. Reading this collection of poems allowed me to see it clearly. The poetic bits are the thing ingrained (encoded) in my sensitivity system.

This work is more than a fascinating compilation of language. I've seen the intricacies and strings of thought that carry through each section. It truly reached in deep and took me along with it.

'Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of
...more
Emma
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars for you?

There were some parts here and there that caught my interest, but other than that this poetry collection kind of disappointed me. I expected a lot more and instead I found myself bored and confused on multiple occasions. This just wasn't the read for me.
emma
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
wait okay reading again so i can analyze it and there isn't a single poem i didn't like in the whole collection. so
David
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
24
"Youre in a car with a beautiful boy, and he wont tell you that he loves you, but he loves you. And you feel like youve done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt, and youre tired. Youre in a car with a beautiful boy, and youre trying not to tell him that you love him, and youre trying to choke down the feeling, and youre trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel
...more
Marijana➹
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
Its not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
its more like a song on a policemans radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it
...more
Dylan Perry
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Powerful, painful and unique, Richard Siken's Crush was everything I'd hoped it would be. It's wordier than I usually prefer my poetry, but this was one of the few collections where I didn't mind the denser prose. Definitely going to check out more by him. 4/5
Yara (The Narratologist)
In an older study advice post on how to approach poetry, I wrote that a good poet should be able to make you feel something, whether you fully understand the work or not:

Often poems are not so much vessels of information, but more like an experience. A good poet can reach out and get an emotional response from you even if you have no clue what (s)he is talking about. Sometimes you need to read a poem a few times before you fully understand it, or you can spend the rest of your life reading a
...more
Maddie
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, poetry
I think reading a lot of Siken's poetry that came from this book before reading the book itself has caused me to not like it as much as I should, which is disappointing, and my mistake.

I've been left overwhelmed by Crush; there are poems in here that are some of my favourite in the world (Snow and Dirty Rain), lines that cut right through me but when you're reading a collection as opposed to individual poems, not all of them can hit so close. Some of them went on for a long time, dragging their
...more
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GRL Review of Crush 3 86 Sep 22, 2013 01:57PM  

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1,513 followers
Richard Siken is an American poet, painter, and filmmaker.

His poetry collection Crush won the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, a Lambda Literary Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Conjunctions, Indiana Review and Forklift, Ohio, as well as in the anthologies The Best American Poetry 2000 and
...more

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“Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.”
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“We have not touched the stars,
nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,
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