Barely Composed: Poems

Hardcover | February 3, 2015

byAlice Fulton

not yet rated|write a review
In this eagerly awaited collection of new poems—her first in over a decade—Alice Fulton reimagines the great lyric subjects—time, death, love—and imbues them with fresh urgency and depth. Barely Composed unveils the emotional devastations that follow trauma or grief—extreme states that threaten psyche and language with disintegration. With rare originality, the poems illuminate the deepest suffering and its aftermath of hypervigilance and numbness, the "formal feeling" described by Emily Dickinson.

Elegies contemplate temporal mysteries—the brief span of human/animal life, the nearly eternal existence of stars and nuclear fuel, the enduring presence of the arts—and offer unsparing glimpses of personal loss and cultural suppressions of truth. Under the duress of silencing, whether chosen or imposed, language warps into something uncanny, rich, and profoundly moving. Various forms of inscription—coloring book to redacted document—enact the combustible power of the unsaid.

Though "anguish is the universal language," there also is joy in the reciprocity of gifts and creativity, intellect and intimacy. Gorgeous vintage rhetorics merge with incandescent contemporary registers, and this recombinant linguistic mix gives rise to poems of disarming power. Visionaries—truth tellers, revelators, beholders—offer testimony as beautiful as it is unsettling.

Shimmering with the "good strangeness of poetry," Barely Composed bears witness to love’s complexities and the fragility of existence. In the midst of cruelty, a world in which “the pound is by the petting zoo,” Fulton’s poems embrace the inextinguishable search for goodness, compassion, and "the principles of tranquility."

Pricing and Purchase Info

$28.95

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

In this eagerly awaited collection of new poems—her first in over a decade—Alice Fulton reimagines the great lyric subjects—time, death, love—and imbues them with fresh urgency and depth. Barely Composed unveils the emotional devastations that follow trauma or grief—extreme states that threaten psyche and language with disintegration. ...

Alice Fulton’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Fulton is the Ann S. Bowers Professor of English at Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York.

other books by Alice Fulton

Felt: Poems
Felt: Poems

Kobo ebook|Feb 15 2010

$13.49 online$17.50list price(save 22%)
Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems
Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems

Kobo ebook|Feb 15 2010

$12.39 online$16.00list price(save 22%)
The Nightingales of Troy: Connected Stories
The Nightingales of Troy: Connected Stories

Kobo ebook|Feb 15 2010

$13.49 online$17.50list price(save 22%)
see all books by Alice Fulton
Format:HardcoverDimensions:96 pages, 8.54 × 5.75 × 0.54 inPublished:February 3, 2015Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393244881

ISBN - 13:9780393244885

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Barely Composed: Poems

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

Fulton removes language from its standard literary and idiomatic proprieties… Her varied techniques are particularly appealing…an alchemy of language and the world beyond the authentic representation of the personal. But she can do expressive representation too. — Daisy Fried (New York Times Book Review)Elegant and experimental at once, committed to operating at the freshest tip of the mind, these poems pry through our own readerly boundaries. — Poetry InternationalFulton sounds at home in the unknown, her music rising like wind whistling between all these ‘finite things.’ You may not mind getting lost with such a guide. — Michael Andor Brodeur (Boston Globe)Tackles enduring topics—time, death, love—with a mixture of elegance and agony… All of this blossoms into a dark beauty that makes these poems glisten. — Elizabeth Lund (Washington Post)At times musical, yes, but at other times a weapon, or a stick to prod open the underbelly of some dark dream…sonorous, rich, and full of surprises. — Casey Patrick (Rumpus)