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My Piece of the Puzzle.Cover painting, "The Little Pastry Chef," by Chaim Soutine
My Piece of the Puzzle
$14.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • 9781597660389

Doren gives an overview of the book:

 Praise for My Piece of the Puzzle “These are remarkable, fiery poems. Poems that would urge any poet on, language that tears open reality. I think this is Doren Robbins’s finest book, and I’ve admired his work for a good while. The imagination, its energy and precision, is immense. There’s a delicate observation of even the rawest materials, a tenderness for humanity in all its cruelty, stupidity, and often invisible dignity and grace, that feels to me like his peculiar, original contribution to—well, to the puzzle of what we have become: people, Americans, men and women today, above all those who are “absent,” unregistered, undocumented in both senses.” —Adrienne Rich “Doren Robbins grows evermore himself, evermore an original and reliable critic, prophet, singer. His poems are ever richer, combining now unfaltering powerful and tender memory with wisdom. Real...
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 Praise for My Piece of the Puzzle

“These are remarkable, fiery poems. Poems that would urge any poet on, language that tears open reality. I think this is Doren Robbins’s finest book, and I’ve admired his work for a good while. The imagination, its energy and precision, is immense. There’s a delicate observation of even the rawest materials, a tenderness for humanity in all its cruelty, stupidity, and often invisible dignity and grace, that feels to me like his peculiar, original contribution to—well, to the puzzle of what we have become: people, Americans, men and women today, above all those who are “absent,” unregistered, undocumented in both senses.”

—Adrienne Rich

“Doren Robbins grows evermore himself, evermore an original and reliable critic, prophet, singer. His poems are ever richer, combining now unfaltering powerful and tender memory with wisdom. Real wisdom. And he’s writing the best political poems I know.”

—Gerald Stern

“Doren Robbins's poems are both poignantly personal and boldly political. They are passionate and lyrical, as you expect of the best in poetry. He is a keen observer of family life as well as the larger world outside, and a pleasure to read.”

—Howard Zinn

“Robbins’s work sounds very little like most of what is being published in America by poets his age. . . . He comes out of another tradition, one we forget in these indifferent times at our own peril, the tradition of Villon, of Corbière, Céline, Henry Miller, Tom McGrath, and most recently Gerald Stern, the great outsiders who bless our daily lives with their boundless love and rage.”

—Philip Levine

“Knowing the limited capacity of art to redeem anybody’s suffering, Robbins’s poems provide no such obvious safety net. On the other hand, the voice in his poems, with its impeccable contralto of hope and revulsion, reminds us not to accept any limits other than our own resilient skepticism.”

—Bill Mohr, Beyond Baroque magazine

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Read an excerpt »

NATURAL HISTORY Tried to lift a swallowtail butterfly out of a thick web, out of leg and wing fragments.I think they were parts of moths and flies.All the truncations, all the leaf chips,dirty gauze strands, Chinese silver ash spores.Held my thumb knuckle out for it to walk on.That hesitating, that erotic clinging, thatflexing and trembling. At a garage window.I forgot my tools inside the truck,my work shoes by the pedals.It came out on one thread. The windowbehind the web was blank. Leatherinsoles held the stained shapes ofmy feet, those white swallowspointing their beaksat the underworld, pointingat the carnivorous, pointingand clinging. I was trying to lift itthrough the leg and wing fragmentspast the dry torso of a wasp.Wrist bones secured with wirein documentaries, fragmented in my head. Mass grave photojournalism,as usual quotas waiting for us,incidental naturalism of our malicedocumentaries went through myinterior gauze and webs. I was trying to be steady. My hand close to the footbelow the wing, close to the breathjumping on the rim of dirty strands.To the antennae that looked moist,to the remarkable fetal expression,I held out my thumb knuckle. 

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About Doren

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