Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Ledge: Poems by Michael Collier

The Ledge: Poems (2000)

by Michael Collier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

No reviews
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618219102, Paperback)

The first poem in Michael Collier's fourth collection, The Ledge, suggests a difference between youthful readers and mature ones. The young read more quickly, as though they'll be asked to recount the plot highlights. Older readers relish the details, using literature to slide their own lives under the magnifying glass. "Argos" is an excellent prelude, which prepares us for The Ledge's roundabout insights and surprising truths.

Collier's poetry often addresses large-scale questions of faith--or at least questions that used to be large-scale and have now been deflated by ironic disbelief. Probably every century since the advent of Christianity has witnessed innumerable mock crucifixions, with girls pretending to hammer a boy onto a cross while he lolls his head "in that familiar / defeated way." In the past, the game might have provoked terror, or empathy, or at least awe at the sheer sinfulness of humans. In our era, however, the boy's penis stiffens comically, "like one of Satan's fingers":

I was dying a savior's death and yet
what my sisters called my "thing,"
struggled against extinction
as if its resurrection could not be held off
by this playful holy torture.
Using such sneaky, colloquial humor, Collier expertly discriminates between the rarefied thoughts we're supposed to have and the ones we actually have.

Elsewhere, Collier writes about the emotional burdens that fathers and sons are doomed to place on each other. In "The Hammer," an adult recalls losing his father's treasured hammer, and covering his tracks with a lie that has never fully vanished. "The Choice" finds a child struggling with a similar agony: is it better to dissemble or disappoint? Collier's voice in The Ledge is consistently that of one thoughtful, reasonable father talking to another--and maybe, some years from now, to the son who has finally become a father himself. --John Ponyicsanyi

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.1 pay

Popular covers


Average: No ratings.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,403,434 books! | Top bar: Always visible