Upgraded to Serious (Lannan Literary Selections)
Other Editions of This Title:
If McHugh is serious, she's anything but grim; with all her punning, bantering, and mock scolding of herself . . . she brightens the shadowy corners of her world with verbal pyrotechnics.--The New York Times Book Review
Her poems are open, resilient, invisibly twisted: part safety net, part trampoline.--Village Voice Literary Supplement
This fast-paced, verbally dexterous book--honored as a Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly--boils up and boils over as it utilizes medical terminology and iconography to work through loss and detachment. Heather McHugh's startling rhymes and rhythms, coupled with her sarcastic self-reflection and infectious laughter, serve as both palliative and prophylactic in the face of human sufferings and ignorance. Being upgraded to serious from critical condition is a nod to the healing powers of poetry.
Not to Be Dwelled On
Self-interest cropped up even there,
the day I hoisted three instead
of the ceremonially called-for two
spadefuls of loam
onto the coffin of my friend.
Why shovel more than anybody else?
What did I think I'd prove? More love
(mud in her eye)? More will to work?
(her father what, a shirker?) Christ,
what wouldn't anybody give
to get that gesture back?
She cannot die again; and I
do nothing but re-live.
Heather McHugh is the author of a dozen books of poetry and translation. She teaches at the University of Washington and Warren Wilson College and lives in Seattle, Washington.
Copper Canyon Press, 9781556593956, 85pp.
Publication Date: June 19, 2012