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Mornings Like This [Paperback]

Ann Dillard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 2 1996
In Mornings Like This, Annie Dillard extracts and rearranges sentences from old--and often odd--books, and composes ironic poems--some serious, some light--on the heartfelt themes of love, nature, nostalgia, and death. Clever, original, sometimes humorous, and often profound, this collection is sure to charm her fans, both old and new.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Found poems are to their poet what no-fault insurance is to beneficiaries: payoffs waiting to happen where everyone wins and no one is blamed. Dillard culls about 40 such happy accidents from sources as diverse as a The American Boys Handy Book (1882) and the letters of Van Gogh. Taking the texts nearly verbatim but toying with theme and line breaks, the poet aims for a lucky, loaded symbolism that catapults the reader into an epiphany never imagined by the original authors. If parts of this collection fall short of that ideal, there are plenty of chuckles and some beautiful turns of phrase. Poems of joy tend to fare better than the more somber efforts. It is hard to play serious with a style that relies on techniques more common in comedy, such as understatement ("Another legal situation/ Is death") and double entendre ("Try dropping from different heights"). Regardless, these co-op verses are never less than intriguing.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Poetry from the ever-popular Dillard.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Annie Dillard was recommended to me as a poet whose work would gracefully cross over the line separating genres of literature. I found "Mornings Like This" to be much more than this. It has been said many times that there are no more original thoughts left to be expressed. Ms. Dillard challenges this, by presenting us with "found poetry" - thoughts that she did not formulate originally but that she has adapted to show deeper or alternate meaning. It IS original, despite being thought of by others first. The work is a delicate web of whimsy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creativity at its best Jan. 6 2000
Format:Paperback
What a wonderful little book of poems! Whether you are familiar with Dillard or not, familiar with the original lines she "lifted" or not, or familiar with poetry at all, you will truly enjoy this book. Annie has crafted these found poems in ways that suprise and stimulate, mixing the clever and the humorous with the deep and profound. Each one is a treasure to be explored for again and again. Dillard makes these works her own; you can hear her voice through others' words.
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Format:Paperback
This is good poetry, but not excellent. The concept is novel, the themes are universal, but most fail to affect. Either I didn't "get" enough of the works, or there wasn't a lot to "get" in the first place.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A clever book that pushes the boundaries of poetry Aug. 24 2002
By Michael J. Mazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the introductory author's note to "Mornings Like These: Found Poems," Annie Dillard states of the book, "Excepting only some titles and subtitles, I did not write a word of it." Basically the book consists of "bits of broken text" taken from other authors' prose books and rearranged on the page as poetry. Dillard's sources include "The American Boys Handy Book" (1892), an 1853 maritime conference report, a 1926 junior high school English text, van Gogh's letters, and more.
Dillard admits that half of the poems in this book "are just jokes." Some of them are quite clever and thought-provoking; in some of them she really seems to change the original author's intent. Dillard thus, in a broader sense, makes us question the very nature of the written text and the nature of its relationship to potential readers.
There are some really interesting passages in this book. She mines a stunning section on pain from a prehospital emergency care book. I found the funniest piece to be a "Index of First Lines," from two poetry anthologies. Overall, an intriguing book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a stunning example of the origins of creativity April 8 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Annie Dillard was recommended to me as a poet whose work would gracefully cross over the line separating genres of literature. I found "Mornings Like This" to be much more than this. It has been said many times that there are no more original thoughts left to be expressed. Ms. Dillard challenges this, by presenting us with "found poetry" - thoughts that she did not formulate originally but that she has adapted to show deeper or alternate meaning. It IS original, despite being thought of by others first. The work is a delicate web of whimsy
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creativity at its best Jan. 6 2000
By gary gackstatter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What a wonderful little book of poems! Whether you are familiar with Dillard or not, familiar with the original lines she "lifted" or not, or familiar with poetry at all, you will truly enjoy this book. Annie has crafted these found poems in ways that suprise and stimulate, mixing the clever and the humorous with the deep and profound. Each one is a treasure to be explored for again and again. Dillard makes these works her own; you can hear her voice through others' words.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Found Poems - A real Gem! Sept. 11 2010
By D. Shannon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anne Dillard is a rare treasure. I loved her poetry in "Tickets For a Prayer Wheel" and have searched for more of her poetry for years. Well, this is it. In "Mornings Like This" she combs through old books and gathers sentences and phrases then assembles these "bits of broken text" into poems that brilliantly illuminate their source material. And what sources she has found! From works such as M. G. Minnaert's "The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air" - 1893, to D. C. Beard's "The American Boys Handy Book" - 1882, and David Greyson's "The Countryman's Year" - 1936 (from which she has assembled the poem "Mornings Like This") she has searched out and "found" words for nearly 40 poems. Oh, this work is a thing of beauty!
I have given this book to three friends and shared it with many more, and everyone has been, without exception, delighted with it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A poet after my own heart Jan. 16 2014
By P. Laster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was a gift from a church choir in 1995. I loved it then; I re-read it recently and love it still. I, too, have found poems--in news articles, in readings of other writers, in obituaries. Perhaps I should publish a book(let) of those. Not in competition with Annie Dillard--gracious, no--but for my own validation that prose texts CAN be poetry, too. Highly recommended.
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