Failure

Failure

Poems

Book - 2007 | First edition.
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A driven immigrant father, an old poet, Isaac Babel in the author's dreams--Philip Schultz gives voice to failures in poems that are direct and wry. He evokes other lives, too--family, beaches, dogs, the pleasures of marriage, New York City in the 1970s, "when nobody got up before noon, wore a suit/or joined anything"--and a mind struggling with revolutions both interior and exterior. Failure is a superb new collection from one of America's great poets.One called him a nobody.No, I said, he was a failure.You can't remembera nobody's name, that's whythey're called nobodies.Failures are unforgettable.--from "FAILURE"
Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, [2007]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780151015269
Branch Call Number: 811.54 SCH
Characteristics: 106 pages ;,21 cm

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w
Waluconis
Apr 04, 2018

Philip Schultz pulls no punches in this collection, which won the Pulitzer Prize when it was published. He is a fearless explorer of contemporary life. A few lines of a poem such as "Blunt" will tell you this:
I want nothing to do
with a soul. I hate
its crenulated edges
and bottomless pockets,
its guileless, eyeless stare.
.... If
I have to believe in something,
I believe in despair. In its
antique teeth and sour breath
and long memory.
The subjects of his poems are, as he describes them, often ideas that "no one can any longer bear to understand." At the same time, one feels better for having visited the places that Schultz's poems take us. The long poem at the end of the volume, "The Wandering Wingless" (pages 50-104), centers on his life as a dog walker. To give you a better idea, not one of the dogs' owners is even mentioned, but other walkers and dogs are. In handling themes in this long poem, Schultz seems to be preparing for his 2014 novel in verse, "The Wherewithal" (which is not about dogs) but sustains multiple focused themes.

b
BloomFree
Mar 21, 2015

Mr. Scultz hits the nail on the head about failure. He also offers a portrait of mental illness, despair and acceptance of the failures and shortcomings inherent in being human.

I found his poetry beautiful and easy to read. Dog lovers will appreciate his reverence and appreciation of his and others canine companions :)

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