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Failure by Philip Schultz


by Philip Schultz

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This book is a mixed bag of poems that won the Pulitzer recently. The strongest poems are in the middle. The first several poems are formulaic, where a detail mentioned in the first few lines returns at the end with a twist. The last poem is long--nearly 1/2 the book--and is interesting but uneven. The narrator is a dog walker (someone that people hire to walk their dogs) who lives in post 9-11 New York. The poem explores his troubled relationship with his father, other people, dogs, and himself. The poems in between these are strong lyric poems that are enjoyable reading. ( )
  wrmjr66 | Feb 2, 2011 |
Life goes on for Schultz, and he continues to write about it with greater conversational sweetness than any other American poet one can readily call to mind.
added by Shortride | editBooklist, Ray Olson (Oct 15, 2007)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151015260, Hardcover)

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 remember

a nobody’s name, that’s why

they’re called nobodies.

Failures are unforgettable.

—from "FAILURE"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Failure, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, is Philip Schultz's most personal and ambitious collection to date. With wry, deft touch, Schultz gives voice to failure in poems that are bittersweet and fierce, wonderous and direct, and brillantly provocative. Failure is a collection to savor from one of America's most engaging and uncompromising poets.… (more)

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