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AGAINST ROMANCE
AGAINST ROMANCE
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Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • 9781929355235

Michael gives an overview of the book:

From Library Journal Blumenthal's new collection moves surely through the contradictions implied by its title. Belonging to the "central" modernist tradition of Wallace Stevens and informed by both wit and intelligence, the poems take us through a variety of topics and moods without losing sight of the book's pivotal experience, a divorce. Urbane, sophisticated, sometimes self-deprecatory, Blumenthal sustains an observant distance, which only emphasizes the romantic yearning underlying the book's theme. The best poems work well, arching toward an ethereal, metaphysical tone, as in these lines from the title poem: "and when life turns its dimmed lights up/ once again and the theater empties,/ they find the stranger love always delivers up." Other poems feel like exercises, but Blumenthal's voice is growing more authentic. Ivan Arguelles, Univ. of...
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From Library Journal
Blumenthal's new collection moves surely through the contradictions implied by its title. Belonging to the "central" modernist tradition of Wallace Stevens and informed by both wit and intelligence, the poems take us through a variety of topics and moods without losing sight of the book's pivotal experience, a divorce. Urbane, sophisticated, sometimes self-deprecatory, Blumenthal sustains an observant distance, which only emphasizes the romantic yearning underlying the book's theme. The best poems work well, arching toward an ethereal, metaphysical tone, as in these lines from the title poem: "and when life turns its dimmed lights up/ once again and the theater empties,/ they find the stranger love always delivers up." Other poems feel like exercises, but Blumenthal's voice is growing more authentic. Ivan Arguelles, Univ. of California at Berkeley Lib.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc

 "...a testament to empowerment, to the resilience, one might say romantically, of the heart or at least of decent speech." -- Kurt Heinzelman, The Massachusetts Review

"I have no doubt that Michael Blumenthal is one of the best poets of his generation." -- W. D. Snodgrass

"I know of no younger poet with a greater natural gift, nor of anyone who has used it better." -- Howard Nemerov

 

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Michael

Michael Blumenthal graduated from the Cornell Law School with a J.D. degree in 1974, after studying philosophy and economics at the State U. of New York at Binghamton. His seventh book of poems, And, will be published by BOA Editions in May, 2009. A graduate of...

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Author's Publishing Notes

Published in 1987 and then forgotten until this reissue. Blumenthal's focus is like Woody Allen's joke on love: two elderly women are at a resort and complaining about the food---one says it tastes terrible and the other says yes and such small portions.His poems ratchet back and forth on this----with "Against Romance" taking a bleaker view, nailing those lovers who fall in love with the idea of it, not the reality("they become the myths of themselves") to the good natured "Manners" about loving the flaws, not the perfections("it's the things unsaid/the warn rudities of late night/that most move you and you are wild for the slurped sounds of the truly decent/the I chew-with -my-mouth-open look of the one you will love forever.") The closer poem, "The End" is excellent, telling us its is better to ,as a Woody character once said, put your art into your life, than your life into your art"(because he no longer wanted to turn each morning for the remainder of his days and find only air beside him,...because he knew art was merely another currency in the vast domain of a decent life..." he turns toward love and the future). Take a read.