Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Marriage : a sentence /
Anne Waldman.
imprint
New York : Penguin Books, c2000.
description
116 p.
ISBN
0140589228
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
New York : Penguin Books, c2000.
isbn
0140589228
catalogue key
3700813
A Look Inside
First Chapter


If you had three husbands.

If you had three husbands.

If you had three husbands, well not exactly that ...

--Gertrude Stein

Should I get married? Should I be good?

Astound the neighbor next door

with my velvet suit and faustus hood?

--Gregory Corso

two by two in the ark of

the ache of it.

--Denise Levertov

Excerpt

A vision of a wifely woman one half of her face black the other half red. O sorcerer wife tell me what I am to become. I who am black & blue. I am the ayami of your ancestors, she says, I love you, I have no husband now you will be a consort to me & I will teach you husbandly sorcerer things. The assistant spirits are here to help you heal, she says, you are going to do this be my witchy husband & if you won't obey I'll kill you. I am terrified. I sleep with her like my own wife. She is a wife I think a wife. She lives on the mountain in a hut I stay down here. Sometimes she this wife comes to me under the aspect of an old woman, sometimes a wolf & she I think a wife is terrible to look at. Huge body. Damaged teeth. Matted hair. Sometimes she comes as a winged tiger. I mount her maw fearfully & she takes me to different countries. I see a country of wizened old men & a country of cackling old women. I see a country of young struggling arguing to be married. I see men loving men I see women loving women. I see men changing into women to love women women changing into men to love men. I see the end of lawful marriage time. She gives me the jarga (the panther), the doonto (the bear) & the amba (the tiger). They come to me in my dreams, large & panting. They help me in my travel in my husbandly duty. O what a wife my wifely ayami who makes them come to me, it is she a wife I think who speaks through my mouth, it is she the wife who inhabits my belly & the bellies of the magical animals. She who works for us & with us it is she again a powerful wife, it is she my wifely sorcerly ayami , a terrifying sexual motion.

--sexual motion

mystic songs

split the head

(implicit passion)

but bind all two--

of thee, nimble-footed-one

with eye of dawn, tiger tooth--

  humble consort foresworn

   whoever ye be

with me or another

   brother to brother to sister

         to lover

& mount a text toward

golden ceremony

illegal tho it be

as you mount your mate

  where spheres materialize

abode: abyss: afterimage

  no whim of angle

   initiation's mark,

    or beautiful pointillist

   scarification

lingers like painting

save respite of sex's sense

    of sentience,

of contract

half & half & half of--

  plus all married sentences

--tally

One said once an overt thing a relevant thing & the first time heard it was not "parents" it was not "couple" even, it was not even curing or a problem. Even then or even everyone seemed to live in one bed which took up a living room evenly. Suppose the marriage bed suppose it bled. The infant bows her head to ponder. A large head upon a child's intellect whose shoulder sprouts wings is hers. Winds inside a mythic winsome shoulder, hers. Wonderful to be winged in poetry, Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments . What was a mind albeit true. Rue, hers. Ride fine bird of prey or perhaps albatross beckons you. Assuage arrange mirage forage that would be a storybook marriage. Phoenix for these married ones, auto da fe . Were their little rooms inside with beds in them in this one mind with eyes for windows just for pleasure & shudder? Wonder what is theirs. What does "theirs" mean? Mess though a wooden scent of pine drawer as in don't mess around in their drawers. Tables with humanoid legs & scent of love & mix in random familial tears. Hand & hand with marriage go blessed spring-offs. Something in this one whose nature is curious. Mysterious love instruments in another. Danger. And needles for a diabetic confused with drama with discretion at the bedside of valour. Or, you might say, a winged prickly hope. Panties from Pan, god of Panic. And was a child's imagination & pandemonium to go hand upon hand with marriage? That could be strange. Spherical bodies in the wondrous marriage bed. Jungle of sheets & pained reigning flesh. Pillows & eyes for breathing. Mating calls. A bird in the bed? Marriage is a tangible mating place surely. That it manufactures noble criterion or psalms of faith in its hardship & sober fruition is good is strange. My hands exist because of marriage, deft fingers because of marriage. Toes prehensile because of marriage. Groomed hair shiny: marriage. Caustic of head, marriage makes you that way. Because of marriage the moon rises. To come to life knees elbows ears eyes. Come to life & negotiate genetic ankles. Tongue touches roof of mouth to come to life & speech because of marriage. Something walks in cytoplasmic marriage & makes you that way. Someone walks away from cataclysmic marriage & makes you that way. Someone walks toward calm marriage & then away from are you then made a particular calm way or not? Walk up a flight & enter in a calm marriage, fly into conciliatory arms because of marriage. One lives in such a temple of love to feel restless mystical violent obsessive curious dizzy deranged hungry out of place adaptable tender timorous homespun incomplete tempestuous calm & strange of body trembling because of marriage.

--solipsistic, anatomical

--my love

--yes

--woolen blanket's harsh

--yes

--love harsh too?

--no, gentle whether it lasteth or not

--old one in the quilt see her handwrought stitch

--ancients arriving soon

--is there room?

--you mean do we fit in there in them in the tomb with them?

--kinship's touch away

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-03-06:
In a book-length series of haibun, a Japanese form in which prose pieces are juxtaposed with verse responses, Waldman (Fast Speaking Woman; The Beat Book; etc.) energetically invokes and explodes a plethora of marriage-related myths, histories and traditions. The Native American Berdache, the biblical Lilith, the Ngerorod kidnap-wedding of the Balinese and even Vaslav Nijinsky's exploits stand shoulder to shoulder with Waldman's own, often hilarious, marital experiences in '60s New York: "The father-in-law disappears & goes on a bender invoking Ho Chi Minh long may he win he sobs, he fought an honorable war." The haibun form works excellently for Waldman, setting up a call-and-response rhythm via the alternating contrasts of prose and verse, and through stretched-to-the-breaking-point repetitions. At times the fierceness of the prose sections-"how many billions a planet can hold as the residue on the sleeve lasts chanting I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do do I & I do lasts & I do not last I am impermanent in the name of Buddha"--overpower the more ethereal and meditative verse sections: the verse response to the vivacious prose-poem "stereo"unsuccessfully invokes the Pygmalion and Galatea myth with too-flat lines like "ornamental/ presence/ sculpted// ivory/ or virgin flesh." But at their best, the verse responses offer mythological depths and elegant counterpoints to the prose fireworks. This collection is a valuable and compelling companion to Waldman's epic Iovis books, which delved into male personae. Its innovative use of a "married" form--two forms responding continually to each other--makes poetry that dynamically and provocatively questions a still-evolving institution. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 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
Unpaid Annotation
Anne Waldman's new collection is a set of high-spirited poetic meditations on the delights and pitfalls of marriage in all its guises--traditional marriages, same sex marriages, the nuclear couple in the contemporary context. Marriage: A Sentence weaves together folklore, autobiographical detail, a meditation on the first five days of the marriage of famed modernist dancer Nijinsky, memory, dream, politics, and the play between opposites and dualities. The work is based on the traditional form of the "haibun," in which a prose-like poem is coupled with a condensed lyric poem of the same theme. The overall drive in this innovative work is an impulse to restore and maintain the spiritual life of marriage in all its diverse manifestations. Lyrical and "berserk," this is Waldman's most exciting, energetic, and accessible work yet.
Unpaid Annotation
Anne Waldman's new collection is a set of high-spirited poetic meditations on the delights and pitfalls of marriage in all its guises -- traditional marriages, same sex marriages, the nuclear couple in the contemporary context. Marriage: A Sentence weaves together folklore, autobiographical detail a meditation on the first five days of the marriage of famed modernist dancer Nijinsky, memory, dream, politics, and the play between opposites and dualities. The work is based on the traditional form of the "haibun, " in which a prose-like poem is coupled with a condensed lyric poem of the same theme. The overall drive in this innovative work is an impulse to restore and maintain the spiritual life of marriage in all its diverse manifestations. Lyrical and "berserk, " this is Waldman's most exciting, energetic, and accessible work yet.
Table of Contents
sexual motionp. 1
tallyp. 2
solipsistic, anatomicalp. 3
kinship's touch awayp. 5
animal'd with job to dop. 6
duop. 7
by candle's light a bedouinp. 8
blessingp. 9
war bridep. 10
mail-order groomp. 11
climbs a tower as in a talep. 12
clapidationp. 14
tell a story about a threshold herep. 15
pillar of firep. 16
more moresp. 17
expedition to a lakep. 18
on a kneep. 19
gender gamep. 20
Herman and Hop. 22
ritep. 23
stereop. 25
wax girlp. 27
act of violencep. 28
moon-in-handp. 29
covetp. 31
50-string lutep. 32
shark peoplep. 33
common tunep. 34
gestationalp. 35
gametep. 36
common lawp. 37
sleeve of carep. 38
nipple that does not ask a sighp. 39
predatoryp. 41
wine cup of night playp. 42
hieros gamosp. 43
orphanp. 44
outed for eternityp. 45
mother gracep. 46
lineagep. 47
dark o' nightp. 48
murderous man and wife thingsp. 49
shopping spreep. 50
dowryp. 51
Nijinskyp. 52
wanderlustp. 53
flame or flamingp. 54
hexp. 55
doppelganger flamep. 56
astrology a middle namep. 57
suchlikep. 58
worker songp. 59
"men ought to love men/(And do)"p. 60
dies sanguinisp. 61
heuristically speakingp. 62
god's hidden purposep. 64
dram three times strangep. 65
auguriesp. 67
even keelp. 68
anaclasticp. 69
alien kinship says I was the Trobriand islanderp. 70
aries risingp. 71
rhumbap. 72
selves the shelf of ballads made fromp. 73
science annalsp. 75
spelp. 76
seclusion, concealment and veilingp. 77
silverhandsp. 78
ius primae noctisp. 79
divine jealousyp. 80
street of human bodiesp. 81
Chinap. 82
abate the clausep. 83
zoop. 84
wiltp. 85
divertere (ghost)p. 86
Kaligatp. 88
burning ghatp. 89
coyote almost takes a wifep. 90
metabolicp. 91
alone in her sprint of himp. 92
thin-skinnedp. 93
nouns of the housep. 94
glass hymen ritep. 95
future dutyp. 96
feetile housep. 97
her sure joyp. 99
adulteryp. 100
male gaze malep. 102
curep. 103
le nozze, a rompp. 104
berdachep. 106
charivari/syntagmap. 107
outside cyberspacep. 108
the marriage of William Blakep. 109
allegorical dreamp. 110
the lipp. 111
coda a codep. 112
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem