Elegy On Toy Piano

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University of Pittsburgh Press, Jan 28, 2005 - Poetry - 101 pages
15 Reviews

In Elegy on Toy Piano, Dean Young's sixth book of poems, elegiac necessity finds itself next to goofy celebration. Daffy Duck enters the Valley of the Eternals. Faulkner and bell-bottoms cling to beauty's evanescence.

Even in single poems, Young's tone and style vary. No one feeling or idea takes precedence over another, and their simultaneity is frequently revealed; sadness may throw a squirrelly shadow, joy can find itself dressed in mourning black. As in the agitated "Whirlpool Suite": "Pain / and pleasure are two signals carried / over one phoneline."

In taking up subjects as slight as the examination of a signature or a true/false test, and as pressing as the death of friends, Young's poems embrace the duplicity of feeling, the malleability of perception, and the truth telling of wordplay.

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Review: Elegy On Toy Piano

User Review  - Melting Uncle - Goodreads

at first I felt like I wasn't "getting" this book of poems. then I started trying a little bit harder to decipher the code and put together the different pieces. that made things more enjoyable. Dean is weird for sure, but I'm glad I read this and will definitely Young again. Read full review

Review: Elegy On Toy Piano

User Review  - Helen - Goodreads

Death made absurd with surreal, twisted absurdist poetry. Each one is bizarre in its own way, making the mind twist and squint in new ways. Daffy Duck, Walt Whitman, sick robots and the corpses of little black squirrels all make an appearance. Death has never been more fun. Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Dean Young has published several books of poetry, including his 2005 collection, Elegy on Toy Piano, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His collection Skid was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. Young has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches at The Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and in the Warren Wilson Low Residency Program.

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