Catalogue


Poems : The weight of oranges, Miner's Pond, Skin divers /
by Anne Michaels.
edition
1st U.S. ed.
imprint
New York : Knopf, 2000, c1999.
description
195 p.
ISBN
0375401407
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Knopf, 2000, c1999.
isbn
0375401407
catalogue key
3564003
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Ice House "I regret nothing but his suffering." --Kathleen Scott Wherever we cry, it's far from home. - At Sandwich, our son pointed persistently to sea. I followed his infant gaze, expecting a bird or a boat but there was nothing. How unnerving, as if he could see you on the horizon, knew where you were exactly: at the edge of the world. - You unloaded the ship at Lyttelton and repacked her: "thirty-five dogs five tons of dog food fifteen ponies thirty-two tons of pony fodder three motor-sledges four hundred and sixty tons of coal collapsible huts an acetylene plant thirty-five thousand cigars one guinea pig one fantail pigeon three rabbits one cat with its own hammock, blanket and pillow one hundred and sixty-two carcasses of mutton and an ice house." - Men returned from war without faces, with noses lost discretely as antique statues. accurately as if eaten by frostbite. In clay I shaped their flesh, sometimes retrieving a likeness from photographs. Then the surgeons copied nose, ears, jaw with molten wax and metal plates and horsehair stiches; with borrowed cartilage, from the soldiers' own ribs, leftovers stored under the skin of the abdomen. I held the men down until the morphia slid into them. I was only sick afterwards. Working the clay, I remembered mornings in Rodin's studio, his drawfuls of tiny hands and feet, like a mechanic's tool box. I imagined my mother in her blindness before she died, touching my face, as if she still could build me with her body,. At night, in the studio I took your face in my hands and your fine arms and long legs, your small waist, and loved you into stone. The men returned from France to Ellerman's Hospital. Their courage was beautiful. I understood the work at once: To use scar tissue to advantage. To construct through art, one's face to the world. Sculpt what's missing. - You reached furthest south, then you went futher. In neither of those forsaken places did you forsake us. - At Lyttelton the hills unrolled, a Japanese scroll painting; we opened the landscape with our bare feet. So much leaned by observation. We took in brainfuls of New Zealand air on the blue climb over the falls. Our last night together we slept not in the big house but in the Kinsey's garden. Belonging only to each other. Guests of the earth. - Mid sea, a month our of range of the wireless; on my way to you. Floating between landfalls, between one hemisphere and another. Between the words "wife" and "widow." - Newspapers, politicians scavenged your journals. But your words never lost their way. - We mourn in a place no one knows; it's right that our grief be unseen. I love you as if you'll return after years of absence. As if we'd invented moonlight. - Still I dream of your arrival.
First Chapter
Ice House "I regret nothing but his suffering." --Kathleen Scott Wherever we cry, it's far from home. - At Sandwich, our son pointed persistently to sea. I followed his infant gaze, expecting a bird or a boat but there was nothing. How unnerving, as if he could see you on the horizon, knew where you were exactly: at the edge of the world. - You unloaded the ship at Lyttelton and repacked her: "thirty-five dogs five tons of dog food fifteen ponies thirty-two tons of pony fodder three motor-sledges four hundred and sixty tons of coal collapsible huts an acetylene plant thirty-five thousand cigars one guinea pig one fantail pigeon three rabbits one cat with its own hammock, blanket and pillow one hundred and sixty-two carcasses of mutton and an ice house." - Men returned from war without faces, with noses lost discretely as antique statues. accurately as if eaten by frostbite. In clay I shaped their flesh, sometimes retrieving a likeness from photographs. Then the surgeons copied nose, ears, jaw with molten wax and metal plates and horsehair stiches; with borrowed cartilage, from the soldiers' own ribs, leftovers stored under the skin of the abdomen. I held the men down until the morphia slid into them. I was only sick afterwards. Working the clay, I remembered mornings in Rodin's studio, his drawfuls of tiny hands and feet, like a mechanic's tool box. I imagined my mother in her blindness before she died, touching my face, as if she still could build me with her body,. At night, in the studio I took your face in my hands and your fine arms and long legs, your small waist, and loved you into stone. The men returned from France to Ellerman's Hospital. Their courage was beautiful. I understood the work at once: To use scar tissue to advantage. To construct through art, one's face to the world. Sculpt what's missing. - You reached furthest south, then you went futher. In neither of those forsaken places did you forsake us. - At Lyttelton the hills unrolled, a Japanese scroll painting; we opened the landscape with our bare feet. So much leaned by observation. We took in brainfuls of New Zealand air on the blue climb over the falls. Our last night together we slept not in the big house but in the Kinsey's garden. Belonging only to each other. Guests of the earth. - Mid sea, a month our of range of the wireless; on my way to you. Floating between landfalls, between one hemisphere and another. Between the words "wife" and "widow." - Newspapers, politicians scavenged your journals. But your words never lost their way. - We mourn in a place no one knows; it's right that our grief be unseen. I love you as if you'll return after years of absence. As if we'd invented moonlight. - Still I dream of your arrival.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-01-01:
It's no surprise that the author of the richly evocative novel Fugitive Pieces is also a poet. Michaels had, in fact, published two collections of poetry in her native Canada before that novel gained recognition in the United States. Both of these collections, along with a third, newer one, are included in Poems. A poet of unabashedly Romantic predilections, Michaels creates dreamscapes that frequently draw on the staples of 1960s "Deep Image" poetry: light, the moon, stars, the sea. But she takes pains to imagine a corresponding physicality or consciousness that lives within the vocabulary of her moonlit surroundings: "Waterworn, the body remembers/ like a floodplain, sentiment-laden,/ reclaims itself with every tide." Objects of perception are internalized and integrated with the subject: "Like the moon, I want to touch places/ just by looking." In quantity, though, this assimilative method grows somewhat thick, if not awkward, and the most striking passages are more often direct ("If you love a man who's not your husband,/ your life becomes the story everyone else tells") than willfully "poetic." Recommended for large collections.--Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, December 1999
Kirkus Reviews, January 2000
Library Journal, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Prior to her stunning first novel,Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels had already won awards and critical acclaim for two books of poetry:The Weight of Oranges(1986), which won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas, andMiner's Pond(1991), which received the Canadian Authors Association Award and was short-listed for the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Award. Although they were published separately, these two books, along withSkin Divers, a collection of Michaels's newest work, were written as companion volumes. Poemsbrings all three books together for the first time, creating for American readers a wonderful introduction to Anne Michaels's poetry. Meditative and insightful, powerful and heart-moving, these are poems that, as Michael Ondaatje has written, "go way beyond games or fashion or politics . . . They represent the human being entire."
Table of Contents
The Weight of Oranges (1986)
Lake of Two Riversp. 7
The Day of Jack Chambersp. 15
Annap. 18
A Height of Yearsp. 20
Depth of Fieldp. 23
Another Yearp. 25
Januaryp. 26
Women on a Beachp. 29
Letters from Marthap. 30
Rain Makes Its Own Nightp. 32
Near Ashdodp. 33
The Weight of Orangesp. 34
Words for the Bodyp. 41
Miner's Pond (1991)
Miner's Pondp. 55
Sublimationp. 67
A Lesson from the Earthp. 72
Modersohn-Beckerp. 79
Flowersp. 89
Anniversaryp. 90
Fresh Mintp. 91
Phantom Limbsp. 92
Pillar of Firep. 94
Blue Vigourp. 99
On the Terracep. 103
Stonep. 106
What the Light Teachesp. 117
Skin Divers (1999)
Skin Diversp. 135
Land in Sightp. 139
Night Gardenp. 141
Three Weeksp. 142
Into Arrivalp. 143
Wild Horsesp. 145
There Is No City That Does Not Dreamp. 146
Last Night's Moonp. 147
The Passionate Worldp. 154
The Second Searchp. 159
Ice Housep. 164
The Hooded Hawkp. 169
Fontanellesp. 177
A Note on the Textp. 189
Acknowledgmentsp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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