Catalogue


Modern life : poems /
by Matthea Harvey.
imprint
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2007.
description
85 p. : port. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
1555974805, 9781555974800
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2007.
isbn
1555974805
9781555974800
catalogue key
6520994
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
National Book Critics Circle Awards, USA, 2007 : Nominated
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
There was one shot left in my rifle. I polished my plimsolls. I wrapped myself in a quilt. So this is how you live in the present. from "The Future of Terror"
First Chapter
There was one shot left in my rifle.
I polished my plimsolls.
I wrapped myself in a quilt.
So this is how you live in the present.
--from "The Future of Terror"
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-09-17:
The verse and prose poems of this third collection by Harvey is rife with her signature wit ("the factory puffs its own set of clouds"), darkened by an ominous sense of fearfulness in a post-9/11 world, which the poems' seeming levity tries to combat. The backbone of the collection is a pair of sequences-titled "The Future of Terror" and "Terror of the Future"-that explore those two increasingly loaded words using a clever alphabetical system with surprisingly haunting results: "We were just a gumdrop on the grid." Prose poems bookending the sequences present a fable about a lonely robot ("When Robo-Boy feels babyish, he has the option of really reverting"); a study of appetite ("Ma gave Dinna' Pig his name so that no-one would forget where that pig was headed"); an explanation of how the impossibility of mind-reading led to love ("Even when they press their ears or mouths or noses together, the skull wall is still in the way"); and an unlikely dinner ritual ("rip the silhouette from the sky and drag it inside"). A few short, lineated poems punctuate the blocks of prose: "World, I'm no one/ to complain about you." Harvey continues to match her unique sensibility with subjects that matter; her poems are both empathic and delightful. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2007-11-15:
America is at war, and while we at home are conscious of it, most of us know little of what the troops experience in the heat of battle. In "The Future of Terror," the first sequence of her third collection (after Sad Little Breathing Machine), Harvey utilizes the beauty of poetry to paint diverse impacts of war not limited to death and destruction: e.g., "sometimes I ducked when someone hiccupped." Equally as enveloping is the second sequence, "Terror of the Future." A foil for the former, the latter collection tells the story of hope, loss, and love-it is the "after" in "happily ever after." Harvey's creativity is best exploited in these series, but the pieces in between also find their places, especially shorter works like the simplistically profound, "A Theory of Generations": "You're it/ You're it/ You're it." The opening poems may be daunting to some readers-they seem rather bizarre and require an elevated level of thinking-but once Harvey hits her stride, she keeps readers intrigued. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Ashanti L. White, Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours." George Saunders Praise forSad Little Breathing Machine: "Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itselfhow odd it is to think, feel and look." Chicago Tribune
" Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours." -- George Saunders Praise for "Sad Little Breathing Machine": " Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection -- the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itself-- how odd it is to think, feel and look." -- "Chicago Tribune"
"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours." --George Saunders Praise for "Sad Little Breathing Machine": "Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection --the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itself--how odd it is to think, feel and look." --"Chicago Tribune"
"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours." --George Saunders Praise for Sad Little Breathing Machine : "Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection --the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itself--how odd it is to think, feel and look." -- Chicago Tribune
"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours." --George Saunders Praise forSad Little Breathing Machine: "Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection --the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itself--how odd it is to think, feel and look." --Chicago Tribune
"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours."--George Saunders Praise for Sad Little Breathing Machine : "Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection --the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itself--how odd it is to think, feel and look."-- Chicago Tribune
Â"Matthea Harvey's vision of America is spooky, apocalyptic, and beautiful: proof that there is wonder in even a dark time like ours.Â" Â--George Saunders Praise forSad Little Breathing Machine: Â"Harvey is a master of the surprising, illuminating connection Â--the cognitive jump-cut . . . There is something of the Martian about Harvey . . . her disjunctions, reversals and bizarreries arise from her inquiry into the strangeness of sentience itselfÂ--how odd it is to think, feel and look.Â" Â--Chicago Tribune
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, September 2007
Library Journal, November 2007
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
Long Description
Matthea Harvey's "Modern Life" introduces a new voice that tries to exist in the gray area between good and evil, love and hate. In the central sequences, "The Future of Terror" and "The Terror of the Future," Harvey imagines citizens and soldiers at the end of their wits at the impending end of the world. Her prose pieces and lyrics examine the divided, halved self in poems about centaurs, ship figureheads, and a robot boy. Throughout, Harvey's signature wit and concision show us the double-sided nature of reality, of what we see and what we know.
Main Description
Matthea Harvey'sModern Lifeintroduces a new voice that tries to exist in the gray area between good and evil, love and hate. In the central sequences, "The Future of Terror" and "The Terror of the Future," Harvey imagines citizens and soldiers at the end of their wits at the impending end of the world. Her prose pieces and lyrics examine the divided, halved self in poems about centaurs, ship figureheads, and a robot boy. Throughout, Harvey's signature wit and concision show us the double-sided nature of reality, of what we see and what we know.
Main Description
Matthea Harvey's Modern Life introduces a new voice that tries to exist in the gray area between good and evil, love and hate. In the central sequences, "The Future of Terror" and "The Terror of the Future," Harvey imagines citizens and soldiers at the end of their wits at the impending end of the world. Her prose pieces and lyrics examine the divided, halved self in poems about centaurs, ship figureheads, and a robot boy. Throughout, Harvey's signature wit and concision show us the double-sided nature of reality, of what we see and what we know.
Main Description
Matthea Harvey'sModern Lifeintroduces a new voice that tries to exist in the gray area between good and evil, love and hate. In the central sequences, Â"The Future of TerrorÂ" and Â"The Terror of the Future,Â" Harvey imagines citizens and soldiers at the end of their wits at the impending end of the world. Her prose pieces and lyrics examine the divided, halved self in poems about centaurs, ship figureheads, and a robot boy. Throughout, Harvey's signature wit and concision show us the double-sided nature of reality, of what we see and what we know.
Table of Contents
Implications for modern lifep. 3
How we learned to hold handsp. 4
The Golden Age of figureheadsp. 5
If scissors aren't the answer, what's a doll to do?p. 6
You know this toop. 7
The future of terror /1p. 11
The future of terror /2p. 12
The future of terror /3p. 13
The future of terror /4p. 14
The future of terror /5p. 16
The future of terror /6p. 17
The future of terror /7p. 18
The future of terror /8p. 19
The future of terror /9p. 20
The future of terror /10p. 21
The future of terror /11p. 22
Inside the good ideap. 25
A theory of generationsp. 26
The empty pet factoryp. 27
Estamos En Vivo, no hay alternativop. 28
Museum of the middlep. 29
The lost marching bandp. 30
Word Parkp. 31
[ ]p. 32
Set your sightsp. 33
Satellite Storage Incp. 34
You never seemed so humanp. 35
Wac-a-mole realismp. 39
Emphasis on mister or peanut, robo or boyp. 40
No one will see themself in youp. 41
Minotaur, no mazep. 42
Robo-babyp. 43
Lonesome lodestonep. 44
Moving dayp. 45
Other (be specific)p. 49
Restricted vistap. 50
Your own personal sunshinep. 51
Free electricityp. 52
Out of orderp. 53
Once around the park with omnisciencep. 54
Dinna' pigp. 55
Waitressing in the room with a thousand moonsp. 56
We sat in them, we sit in them stillp. 57
Do you understand?p. 58
Terror of the future /1p. 61
Terror of the future /2p. 62
Terror of the future /3p. 63
Terror of the future /4p. 64
Terror of the future /5p. 65
Terror of the future /6p. 66
Terror of the future /7p. 67
Terror of the future /8p. 68
Terror of the future /9p. 69
Terror of the future /10p. 70
The invention of lovep. 73
The invention of filmp. 74
You have my eyesp. 75
Temporary familyp. 76
I would have stayedp. 77
New friendsp. 78
Ode to the double-natured sides of thingsp. 79
Strawberry on the drawbridgep. 80
Setting the tablep. 82
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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