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The Cinnamon Peeler Paperback – Nov. 7 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

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  • The Cinnamon Peeler
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Product details

  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0771068816
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0771068812
  • Publisher : McClelland & Stewart (Nov. 7 1992)
  • Product Dimensions : 14.61 x 1.4 x 22.73 cm
  • Item Weight : 272 g
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

Product description

From Amazon

You simply cannot pick up a novel by Michael Ondaatje without recognizing that he is first and foremost a poet. The Cinnamon Peeler, released in 1989, compacts selected poems from the earlier books The Dainty Monsters (1967), There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do (1979), Running in the Family (1982), and Secular Love (1984) into one narcotic volume rippling with the sheer mobility of a passionate imagination.

Ondaatje's recurrent subjects--love, violence, art--are here treated with an ever-varying, uniformly intense language. Ondaatje's trademark crystalline violence snaps off the end of the early "For John Falling" as a man "drowns / in the dark orgasm of his mouth." Here too is the insatiable comedy so often overlooked in Ondaatje. The "intermission" poem "Elimination Dance" appropriates the conceit of a dance in which dancers must leave the group when experiences they share are announced. Among those whom Ondaatje calls out of the dance: "Anyone who has had to step into an elevator with all of the Irish Rovers," and "Those who have accidentally stapled themselves."

Hilarious, passionate, and visceral, Ondaatje's poetry, by its sheer accuracy, forces the reader into a paradox of sense and sensation. In the serial poem "Tin Roof," for example, black and white words so vividly evoke experience and emotion that the page turns into the very rooms of emotional geography of which Ondaatje writes. Ondaatje's profound images constantly bring the ghost of experience into the mouth, hands, or memory. With Ondaatje, art offers life, and life adores art. --Darryl Whetter


“Michael Ondaatje’s poems read with the same whimsical precision and authority one finds in his prose. He is the most sensibly ironic writer I’ve read in years, and the most generously disposed. Would that all worlds were this deftly attended.”
–Robert Creeley

“Ondaatje is one of the country’s best, a formidable craftsman and artist.”
The Whig-Standard, Kingston

“You feel yourself deep inside his mind and heart, and from there you feel the poem dance.”
–Sharon Olds