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Ants on the melon : a collection of poems / Virginia Hamilton Adair

Main Author Adair, Virginia Hamilton Country Estados Unidos. Publication New York : Random House, cop. 1996 Description X, 158 p. ; 22 cm ISBN 0-679-44881-0 CDU 820(73) 82-1(73)
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUMD 120705 Available 178959
Monografia Biblioteca Vitor Aguiar e Silva
BVAS 820(73) - A Indisponível | Not available 190340
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Already singled out byThe New York Timesand the subject of a feature inThe New Yorker, Virginia Adair has, after decades of shunning book publication, decided to collect eighty of her best poems in a volume that will surely be hailed as among the most accomplished works of our time. Ants on the Melonincludes poems that concern the author's childhood, that explore sensuality in candid terms, that starkly treat her husband's suicide and her own blindness, and that explore both her own emotional landscape and the universal mysteries of the human condition. Technically brilliant, using strict, classical prosody, yet entirely modern in sensibility, Virginia Adair's poetry will play a central role in the ongoing American poetry renaissance.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Now You Need Me When the rains come you remember our old closeness humping along in the wet. You grope the dark where I hang morosely by my crooked neck. You pull off my cover shake me till my ribs jingle and a moth flies out. Your hand reaches under my black skirt and up one leg thin as a cane until I open wide with a rusty squawk hovering above you like a dark and loving raven, said the old umbrella, her night full of holes. Peeling an Orange Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude Reading The World's Illusion through my tears. You reach across me hungry for global fruit, Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly. Your fingers pry the skin of a naval orange Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil. You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite The disks to release further their eager scent. I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page. Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips Your white teeth close on a translucent segment. Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion . Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth. We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little. You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolling Over upon me soothingly, gently moving, Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me." Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream. The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream. One Ordinary Evening Lying entwined with you on the long sofa the hi-fi helping Isolde to her climax I was clipping the coarse hairs from your ears and ruby nostrils when you said, "Music for cutting nose wires" and we shook so the nailscissors nicked your gentle neck blood your blood I cleansed the place with my tongue and we clung tight pelted with Teutonic cries till the player lifted its little prick from the groove all arias over leaving us in post-Wagnerian sadness later that year you were dead by your own hand blood your blood I have never understood I will never understand. An Hour to Dance For a while we whirled over the meadows of music our sadness put away in purses stuffed into old shoes or shawls the children we never were from cellars and closets attics and faded snapshots came out to leap for love on the edge of an ocean of tears like a royal flotilla Alice's menagerie swam by no tale is endless the rabbit opened his watch muttering late, late time to grow old Excerpted from Ants on the Melon by Virginia Hamilton Adair All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

The appearance of a first collection by a poet now blind and in her 83rd year must be accounted a triumph, and it is hardly to be wondered at if the result is a little uneven. Adair, recently profiled in The New Yorker, works with equal daring in free verse and more traditional forms; her subjects include social and religious commentary, but her principal theme is ordinary experience and its resistance to facile interpretation. It is a shame that most of the poems are not dated: given the variousness of her style and the reminiscences about poets as different as William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, and May Sarton, it would have been useful to know more about her development over more than 60 years of writing. Some poems might have been excluded, but in her better poems-the memory-pictures of "The Grandmothers" or "One Ordinary Evening," the visionary topographies of "Blackened Rings" or "In Dublin's Fair City, 1963"-there is a free ingenuousness not often heard in contemporary writing. Much of Adair's work should appeal to nonspecialists as well as to poets; recommended for most collections.-Graham Christian, Andover-Harvard Theological Lib., Cambridge, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Expect demand for this book of poetry. (Now, there's a sentence seldom seen.) Octogenarian retired professor Adair has published many individual poems but no previous collections. The phenomenon of her witty, articulate, urbane, polished, but also immediately accessible verse coming to greater attention in her life's winter has already been noted in the popular press, and the book's contents satisfy the advance publicity's claims. Here is a crisp and riveting poem on Hiroshima--a word that sounds like "the ocean wind" spoken by voices "triumphant and horrified." Here is a simple, sensuous, tragic poem to the poet's husband, recalling a simple, sensous, tender moment shortly before his suicide, which, Adair says, "I have never understood / I will never understand." This book may well broaden the audience for poetry. --Patricia Monaghan

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