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Archaic Smile: Poems by A.E. Stallings

Archaic Smile: Poems

by A.E. Stallings

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I have always had a fondness for things Greek, especially the ancient myths and gods. Many of these poems combine people and ideas from these with a modern-day style. Most of the poems deal with death and the afterlife (generally not my favorite topic); of these, I loved "Persephone Writes a Letter to Her Mother", "Cardinal Numbers", "Elegy for a Loggerhead Turtle Washed up on a South Carolina Beach" & "The Machines Mourn the Passing of People". ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 2, 2016 |
Lovely and thought provoking. ( )
1 vote dwhapax | Aug 19, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0930982525, Hardcover)

Archaic Smile, by A.E. Stallings, recipient of the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award, uniquely juxtaposes poetic meditations on mythological themes with poems about the everyday occurances of contemporary life -- such as losing an umbrella or fishing with one's father. In doing so, Archaic Smile continually bridges the gap between these two distant but interrelated worlds with striking insights. James Dickey, having praised the author's accomplished critical skills, also points out that she has "the most indispensable quality that a poet must have: an original way of looking at things." A.R. Ammons aptly characterizes the power of her mythological poems in his comments on "Apollo Takes Charge of His Muses" which he chose for The Best American Poetry: "It delivers the ancient past into our present with such astonishing justness that I'm silenced with appreciation." Archaic Smile is a powerful debut collection by a provacative poet who has found strikingly original ways to personalize our myths and conjure the deep significances of our everyday life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:57 -0400)

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