Earthly by Erica Funkhouser

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Synopsis

Erica Funkhouser’s fifth collection considers what it means to be earthly. These are poems in which a one-eyed hawk observes us from “the wide realm of his rapt patience” and a group of long-buried foundation stones works its way back to the earth’s surface like “ceremonial animals, their throats unslit.” The central poem in the collection, “Pome,” cuts into the mythos of Johnny Appleseed, the biology of apples, and the poet’s own experience of growing up on a farm. The final section of the book contains sonnets written as an homage to the Holy Sonnets of John Donne -- witty, graceful poems that limn the coming into consciousness of a young poet. A departure from Funkhouser’s previous historical narratives and her compressed lyrics, the expansive poems in Earthly are sure to deliver this poet her greatest recognition yet.
 

About Erica Funkhouser

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Erica Funkhouser is the author of four previous books of poems, including Pursuit and The Actual World. She is a lecturer in the department of writing and humanistic studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lives in Essex, Massachusetts.
 
Published March 12, 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The sonnets with which she concludes depict Cezanne's preferred shades of blue, the death of a favorite horse, and the author's teen years, when ""We read John Donne while smoking Panama Red."" The most memorable parts, though, come in the middle of the volume: there Funkhouser (The Actual World)...

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