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A Green Light Paperback – May 1 2004

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Wave Books; First Edition edition (May 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972348778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972348775
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,044,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Rohrer won the National Poetry Series 10 years ago with A Hummock in the Malookas; this fourth book of poetry follows hard on the heels of Nice Hat. Thanks, his comic-verse collaboration with Joshua Beckman. Though it includes serious ecological themes (notably in "Hone Quarry," a series of 56-syllable stanzas about a camping trip), this wary, slippery new volume's dominant notes are deadpan humor and bleak nonstop irony. "No one watches over us unless our uncles/ are flying planes," Rohrer warns in "I Hail from the Bottom of the Sea, the Land of Eternal Darkness." Another long poem, "MK Ultra" (named for the CIA's infamous LSD tests), shows a "patron saint of corridors" chowing down on "the most/ gorgonzola he'd ever eaten." If Rohrer sometimes seems (like James Tate) out to entertain, he also (like Tate) tries to learn from Eastern Europeans, whose juxtapositions poked fun at the absence of God, or described life inside a police state. On occasion Rohrer captures not just their humor but their urgency. Much of the volume, however, ends up so committed to its self-conscious stance that the poems have time for little else: with lines like "I want to be an interesting story/ none of you really remembers," they're less Tomasz Salamun than David Letterman.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Matthew Rohrer was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in Oklahoma. He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, University College Dublin, and the University of Michigan, where he won the Avery Hopwood Award for poetry. His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas, was a winner of the National Poetry Series and chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1995. Mary Oliver called his work beautiful and disquieting," and Harvard Review notes that his poems are "everywhere marked by freshness and originality." He has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered - The Book Show, and is a poetry editor of Fence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a6805dc) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a68e768) out of 5 stars A Fine New Voice Dec 2 2006
By Driver9 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is no poet speaking the same language as Matthew Rohrer, subtle, powerful, engmatic, elegant. His voice is entirely distinctive and I am very surprised to be the only person reviewing this book of poetry so far, and it was published in 2004. What gives?

"But what good is the incantation
against an Empire?
The answer is on the other side
of the Moon we're not supposed to see."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a68e8c4) out of 5 stars A Green Light Feb. 2 2013
By Willis Plummer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
became aware of an excited feeling at the end of each page of this book where i would pick up my iphone and start to take a picture of what i had just read to share it with people on the internet. at some point i realized that people on the internet would maybe not appreciate iphone photos of every page of this book but i still wanted everyone to read the whole thing so i am writing this review.
HASH(0x9a692894) out of 5 stars It's Fun to Stand on the Shoulders of Stevens, Joyce, and the Religious Mystics Dec 24 2015
By R. L. Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wallace Stevens replaces God with poetry itself. Matthew Rohrer replaces God with "drinking and being exceptionally social and not working." Self-deprecating, carnal, tongue-in-cheek remarks like these suffuse A Green Light and balance perfectly the almost constant revelations of sense, self, and time. Rohrer succeeds completely in elevating—in sanctifying—the quotidian and even the profane. In "Catechism," a professor sneaks holy water out of a church and pours it into the ocean. He then informs his bishop that "all the world's water [is] holy now." Rohrer is a master meaning-maker and, like James Joyce and the Chasidic mystics, initiates us into the secret processes of acquiring Heideggerian presence. Every nuance of consciousness is subject to scrutiny in A Green Light: the way humans and animals categorize sensory data and mental experiences, the way people project their own emotions and outlooks onto others and onto inanimate objects, the awareness of time and fashion's contingencies. This is a miraculous collection of poems—a unified, calm, extremely funny, religious, sparkling book.


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