Sad Little Breathing Machine: Poems

Front Cover
Graywolf Press, Mar 1, 2004 - Poetry - 79 pages
24 Reviews
Harvey, whose debut collection was praised by the New Yorker
as "intensely visual, mournfully comic and syntactically
inventive," offers her second stunning collection

Units are the engines
I understand best.

One betrayal, two.
Merrily, merrily, merrily.
-from "Introduction to the World"

In Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey explores the strange and intricate mechanics of human systems-of the body, of thought, of language itself. These are the engines, like poetry, that propel both our comprehension and misunderstanding. "If you're lucky," Harvey writes, "after a number of / revolutions, you'll / feel something catch."

"I pictured myself arriving at an amusement park, only none of the rides are familiar. I considered running away. I could break my neck or be catapulted into the sky. I might never be seen again. It's only poetry, I reminded myself, and climbed on board. I'm tossed and bucked and jabbed and lashed and flipped. I'm having a nearly insane amount of fun, and I don't want it to ever end."--James Tate

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Review: Sad Little Breathing Machine

User Review  - Helen - Goodreads

Surreal literature, especially surreal poetry, can be very tricky. You want to be surreal enough to push the envelope, but you still want it to be relatable on some level, so that you don't lose your ... Read full review

Review: Sad Little Breathing Machine

User Review  - Siel Ju - Goodreads

An (anti)hero's journey from birth to death, told in 6 sections. Some poems -- esp. the prose poems -- are a lot of fun and wryly funny. Others seem to be playing some constraint-based game I don't ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Matthea Harvey is the author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She is the poetry editor of American Letters & Commentary and lives in Brooklyn.

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