Speak Low: Poems

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Mar 31, 2009 - Poetry - 68 pages
5 Reviews
Speak Low is the tenth book from one of America’s most distinctive—and one of poetry’s most essential—contemporary voices. Phillips has long been hailed for work provocative in its candor, uncompromising in its inquiry, and at once rigorous and innovative in its attention to craft. Over the course of nine critically acclaimed collections, he has generated a sustained meditation on the restless and ever-shifting myth of human identity. Desire and loss, mastery and subjugation, belief and doubt, sex, animal instinct, human reason: these are among the lenses through which Phillips examines what it means to be that most bewildering, irresolvable conundrum, a human being in the world.  These new poems are of a piece with Phillips’s previous work in their characteristic clarity and originality of thought, in their unsparing approach to morality and psychology, and in both the strength and startling flexibility of their line. Speak Low is the record of a powerful vision that, in its illumination of the human condition, has established itself as a necessary step toward our understanding of who we are in the twenty-first century. Speak Low is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry.

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Review: Speak Low

User Review  - Ron Charles - Goodreads

Earlier this month, Carl Phillips was my guest in “The Life of a Poet” series, sponsored by the Hill Center and the Library of Congress. I had not met Phillips before that evening, but he was a ... Read full review

Review: Speak Low

User Review  - Geoff Wehmeyer - Goodreads

Who we were, in a lineup beside four versions of what we've turned into, and ourselves the victim, exhausted, confused, unable to say with any real certainty who did it Read full review

About the author (2009)

Carl Phillips is the author of nine previous books of poems, including Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986–2006; Riding Westward; and The Rest of Love, a National Book Award finalist. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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