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Child Made of Sand: Poems by Thomas Lux
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Child Made of Sand: Poems (2012)

by Thomas Lux

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I was not familiar with the poetry of Thomas Lux before I received this book - I will say that after reading 'Child Made of Sand', I will definitely be looking for more of his works. This collection is all about memories, about looking back with a wiser eye on some of the most trivial yet key moments in a life. His language is quiet as he describes the unfettered emotions and mundane observations of childhood; at the same time, his line breaks are so carefully timed and his images so vividly written that even the mundane is beautiful. Lux's narrative is accessible and humorous, and surprising. He is clearly influenced by some of the great poets of the past, and pays tribute to them in his works.

My one clear criticism is that he seems to take himself a bit too seriously, and I thought some of the poems in the collection seemed less a part of the cohesive whole. I give this book 3 stars - I definitely want to read more from Lux, but I doubt this will be my favorite of his collections. ( )
  smileydq | Oct 26, 2012 |
I’ve been exercising my poetry muscles and was excited to see this slender volume of 42 poems -- my first exposure to Thomas Lux.

It’s an accessible collection -- short, readable entries that resonate with layered meaning. In fact, many are narratives and end with surprises that pulled me right back to the first line to reread with new insight. Lux muses on disability and mortality; gives homage to poets, writers, poems and literature; reminisces; vents anger. As collections go, what strikes me here is not that I have several whole poems I’d like to post, but that I marked striking passages in a dozen poems.

Lux can delight with a single word --
Penultimatum

-- and provoke thought --
{…}the weight
of the ink (oh, I pray
not the pixels!) on an execution order


-- and get the sense detail just right --
The dust motes of mud at a pond’s bottom,
sluggish river, or swamp. The finest, most ethereal
of muds, rising in soft pinheads
from the density below; the fog of mud, what first
grips your ankle so whisperly, a little warmer
than the water above it, a satiny sock


-- and morph dimensions --
I read it all morning and I read it all night.
The next day all day
and 100 miles into the dark


-- and even rhyme --
{…} If I live a hundred lives,
then I’ll know more truths, maybe, and lies,
to write
my memoir, novella-sized.

(Review based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.) ( )
4 vote DetailMuse | Oct 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547580983, Hardcover)

Reader’s familiar with Thomas Lux’s quick-witted images ("Language without simile is like a lung/ without air") and his rambunctious, Cirque-Du-Soleil-like imagination ("The Under-Appreciated Pontooniers") will find in his new collection, Child Made of Sand, not only the signature funny, provocative, and poignant super-surrealism that has made him, along with Charles Simic, James Tate, and Dean Young, one of America’s most inventive and humane poets, but they will also find in a surprising series of homages, elegies, rants, and autobiographical poems a new register of language in which time and mortality echo and reverberate in quieter notes. In "West Shining Tree," we can hear this shift in register when he asks: "I’ll head dead West and ask of all I see:/ Which is the way, the long or the short way,/ to the West Shining Tree?"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:01 -0400)

Reader's familiar with Thomas Lux's quick-witted images ("Language without simile is like a lung/ without air") and his rambunctious, Cirque-Du-Soleil-like imagination ("The Under-Appreciated Pontooniers") will find in his new collection, Child Made of Sand, not only the signature funny, provocative, and poignant super-surrealism that has made him, along with Charles Simic, James Tate, and Dean Young, one of America's most inventive and humane poets, but they will also find in a surprising series of homages, elegies, rants, and autobiographical poems a new register of language in which time and mortality echo and reverberate in quieter notes. In "West Shining Tree," we can hear this shift in register when he asks: "I'll head dead West and ask of all I see:/ Which is the way, the long or the short way,/ to the West Shining Tree?"

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