Nakedness, Death, and the Number Zero: Poems

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 3, 2009 - Poetry - 96 pages
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The critically acclaimed poet and translator Brooks Haxton embraces life, from our naked beginnings to the first signs of middle age and beyond, in this inviting collection of poems. The book opens with the dramatic birth of twins, and speaks in the intimate voice of a husband, father, and poet. Diverse products of the imagination pass through Haxton’s generous mind—the mysterious number zero, Milton’s “Lycidas,” nuclear technology—even as he captures the humor and pathos of the everyday. In these brief, exquisite lyrics, meditations, and short stories in verse, he immerses his reader in the heat of teenage rivalry and friendship, the tender comedy of sex, and the amazements of the natural world. Here, from a book indelible in its language and feeling, are the last few lines:

My daughters my twin girls say Ba for bird
for book for bottle—Ba: in Egypt,
bird with a human head, the soul.
They wake and wake their mother. Ba!
They point into the dark. Ba, Ba! they say,
and back to nursing weary in her arms.


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Nakedness, death, and the number zero: poems

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Having previously published several book-length narrative poems, as well as translations of Greek literature, Haxton seems at home with both powerful confessional poems and works making rich allusions ... Read full review

Contents

As Far As I Could Tell
TEENAGE IKON
I SWORE MY LOVE ON THE APPOINTED DAY
WHAT IF THE OLD LOVE SHOULD RETURN
TWEEG
DARK ENOUGH TO SEE
A Note About the Author
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About the author (2009)

Brooks Haxton, born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1950, is the son of the novelist Ellen Douglas and the composer Kenneth Haxton. He has published three previous collections of poetry, two book-length narrative poems, and two books of translations from the ancient Greek. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, Haxton teaches in the writing programs at Syracuse University and Warren Wilson College. He lives in Syracuse with his wife and three children.


From the Hardcover edition.

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