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Fb2 The Porcupine's Kisses ePub

by Stephen Dobyns

Category: Poetry
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Stephen Dobyns
ISBN: 1852246375
ISBN13: 978-1852246372
Language: English
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (2003)
Pages: 192
Fb2 eBook: 1205 kb
ePub eBook: 1519 kb
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The porcupine's kisses.

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The Porcupine's Kisses book. Stephen Dobyns is one of America's most respected poets; his. In his eleventh book of poetry he pushes the boundaries of conventional collections, presenting an intriguing two-part volume.

Book Overview THE PORCUPINE'S KISSES is not just a book of poetry, but a work of textual art. The pages are busy.

In his eleventh book of poetry he pushes the boundaries of conventional collections, presenting an intriguing two-part volume. THE PORCUPINE'S KISSES is not just a book of poetry, but a work of textual art.

The sleepy community of Brewster, Rhode Island, is just like any other small American town

The sleepy community of Brewster, Rhode Island, is just like any other small American town. From award-winning author Stephen Dobyns comes a sardonic yet chillingly suspenseful novel: the literary equivalent of a Richard Russo small-town tableau crossed with a Stephen King thriller.

Stephen J. Dobyns (born February 19, 1941) is an American poet and novelist born in Orange, New Jersey, and residing in Westerly, RI. Dobyns was born on February 19, 1941 in Orange, New Jersey to Lester . an Episcopal minister, and Barbara Johnston. an Episcopal minister, and Barbara Johnston Dobyns. Dobyns was raised in New Jersey, Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania

Stephen Dobyns exposes the bruised male ego in this innovative and wildly original book of prose poems, maxims and definitions, with pictures by Howie Michels. The barbed and wistful poems feature men looking back over past failures and successes, intercut with tart one-liners or considerations - like La Rochefoucauld s maxims brought painfully up to date. Dobyns spikiest book ends with his own devil s dictionary in which his sharp quill pricks our pretensions, evasions and delusions by mischievously revealing the real, possible or covert meanings of words we use every day. Stephen Dobyns is one of America s leading poets. He is a spinner of dark, extravagant fables of a world we live or may live in. They present a view of what it means to be human which is at once both funny and bleak, compassionate and remorseless. His is a world haunted by regret, driven by desire and need, illuminated by daring make-believe. In his often frightening and sometimes strangely funny poems, Stephen Dobyns creates a remarkable bridge between pure entertainment and deep psychological insight. Arrestingly crisp tales told from a middle distance between fantasy and allegory...the forms of loss that pervade so many lives are the submerged subject of these powerfully realised poems...The invitation is to see the fantastic as routine, as one does in Kafka - New York Times
Comments to eBook The Porcupine's Kisses
Malarad
Dobyns is one of my favorite poets but this "collection" is a big disappointment. Read his "Velocities" instead.
"Porcupine Kisses" is composed of three forms of writing plus the illustrations by Michels. None of these four elements is either entertaining enough or meaningful enough to justify buying or reading the book.
Dobyns' extensive poetic work to date suggests a skeptical view of the world and its mores - but having bought this book I feel like I'm the one he's snickering at. It is a physically unsatisfying volume as much as it is an overpriced one. I'm not sure what's up with his publisher situation, but Dobyns' recent (poetic) works have all been slender paperback-only editions printed on a sort of cheesy-cheap newsprint and priced like parchment. In this book the woodcut-style illustrations seem to have been added either to create the illusion of "high art" (ahh... the slender chapbook on linen paper, hand-colored by the artist) or in an attempt to pull together the three disparate textual elements (umm... adding enough stuff to this pot will allow us to call it bouillabaisse). From a poet whom I have always counted on to cork the phony burble of sentimentality, either rationale for the illustrations is cloyingly discordant.
The first half of the book alternates brief, half-page prose pieces with half-page clumps of aphorisms. The prose is interesting enough, I suppose, but it really is just prose. It contrasts sharply with the wide range of poetic forms Dobyns has employed over the years. Many of these have veered close to the prose-poem form, but never have they lost the element of finely-chiseled facet that form imposes on mere prose. The aphorisms, to put it bluntly, hardly rise above the level of fortune cookie pithiness.
The last half of the book is comprised of what another reviewer has generously termed "daffynitions" - odd little definitions of words that are supposed, I guess, to cast a refracted light on their meanings. I found few of them either humorous or meaningful and certainly wasn't willing to plough through pages and pages of an alphabetized listing to uncover the odd gem. I wonder if Dobyns fancies himself the John Ciardi of the new millennium.
In my opinion, Dobyns is a master of language and modern poetic form who has always mixed a wry but clear-eyed incisiveness with somewhat more languorous poetic story-telling. (He must be a good, native story-teller if one can judge from his immense body of fictional work.) But his poetry has also always carried a certain worldly-weariness that seems to have settled too heavily on the shoulders of the writer of this book, and squeezed out these two parts in these equally unsatisfying ways: the one meanderingly prosaic and the other evaporated to dry dust.
The essence of my favorite poem by Dobyns, "Querencia" (collected in his "Velocities" from an earlier book), might well be distilled down to one or two lines when I try to describe it to friends; but in doing so, I know I will fail before I start. In this book Dobyns seems to have exhaustedly decided that all the in-betweens can be skipped and merely the fragmented end result delivered. I can't say I agree. In "Querencia" the bull inevitably, exhaustedly drags itself back to its seemingly arbitrary safe spot - perhaps blankly aware that the safety is only illusory. I sure hope Mr. Dobyns will find a way to drag himself back to poetry.
Lyrtois
THE PORCUPINE'S KISSES is not just a book of poetry, but a work of textual art. The pages are busy. Part One-- "Prose Poems and Considerations" is divided into right page, left page sections; Part Two-- "Definitions" is alphabetical. Throughout the text are illustrations, line drawings and wood cuts by Howie Michels. It is unorthodox-- a well thought out, creative collaboration by two men.
In fact, that is its most obvious feature: its masculinity. Dobyns' humor is dark, indelible. His point of view is sharp and detached. There is something clearly MAN about this book-- not at all to disparage the value of the work. It is compassionate, shy, sometimes grotesque. It can be out-loud laughably funny, and it comes from a completely isolated place, a thoughtful autumn of a man's life.
The nature of its layout can force readers to move through this book in an unconventional way. The two sections, the illustrations, and then alphabetical listings suggest alternative ways to read and look.
It is possible to maneuver through considerations: "Pimple boasts of being a boil." "That he was weak became his strongest defense." Or look up odd Definitions as if in a dictionary. "Impotent: nubbins redux." "Uglier: the children of your friends."
It is also possible to travel through the book, motivated by the illustrations-- keen renderings of Dobyns's writing and his quirky personality.
The playful intellect at the center of his prose poems is most attractive. Dobyns' poems are somber but humorous, have a sense of exile, a wistful for once was that is deeply moving and beautifully human.
Roru
Comedy had henny Youngman flipping out one liners, poetry has Stephen Dobyns. The one liners are pithy to the extreme but make you think---"Humane:Thinks Twice" or "He loved in order to be increased, not in order to love." They are perhaps bits and pieces of ideas he had for longer poems. But whatever they are, or from whatever source they sprung, thet are welcome from one of our great(but too often overlooked) artists.
Arar
I am surprised by those reviews stating disappointment in this unique collection. As a lifelong fan of Dobyns' work, I believe that this combination of prose-poem and short, often sentence-long insights is one of his most potent efforts to date. So many of them capture large truths in brief outcroppings of words that I am left with a sense of the tremendous potential of language to connect us.
The illustrations by Howie Michels are clearly created with an understanding of Dobyns' work. They render the author's verbal imagination into the pictorial realm without overstatement. As with Velocities, Cemetary Nights, and The Balthus Poems, this book is already becoming heavily dogeared, and appears destined to be one I read many times. A strong performance from my literary hero.
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