Never by Jorie Graham

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Jorie Graham's collection of poems, Never, primarily addresses concern over our environment in crisis. One of the most challenging poets writing today, Graham is no easy read, but the rewards are well worth the effort. While thematically present, her concern is not exclusively the demise of natural resources and depletion of species, but the philosophical and perceptual difficulty in capturing and depicting a physical world that may be lost, or one that we humans have limited sight of and into. As she notes in "The Taken-Down God": "We wish to not be erased from the / picture. We wish to picture the erasure. The human earth and its appearance. / The human and its disappearance."

With a style that is fragmented and somewhat whirling-language dips and darts and asides are taken-Graham stays on point and presents an honest intellect at work, fumbling for an accurate understanding (or description) of the natural world, self-conscious about the limitations of language and perception.


About Jorie Graham

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Jorie Graham is the author of 12 collections, including The Dream of the Unified Field which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard University.
Published April 1, 2002 by Ecco. 128 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Never

The New York Times

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Indeed, the first lines of the first poem in her first book, ''Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts'' (1980), are prophetic in the extreme: ''The way things work / is by admitting / or opening away.'' Certainly the breathless urgency of acceleratin...

May 19 2002 | Read Full Review of Never: Poems

Publishers Weekly

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Each spread consists of a verse on the left-hand page (set against ample white space and accompanied by a tiny pastel drawing of the verse's central character) opposite a scene from the rhyme.

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Publishers Weekly

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Graham, Anne Carson and Louise Glück get most of the press, but look for National Poetry Month profiles and round-up reviews celebrating the achievements of others, including Rae Armantrout, Wanda Coleman, Lyn Hejinian, Myung-Mi Kim, Ann Lauterbach, Harryette Mullen, Alice Notley and Adrienne Ric...

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The Independent

It certainly accords with the life-style of her heroine, whose idea of having a heart to heart with a good friend is to book a table for eight at Maxim's - a sort of heart to heart to heart to heart to heart to heart .

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London Review of Books

The subsequent obsessive adult drive towards representation, entangling sense and mind in a Gordian knot, poses the problem underlying poetic composition: how to make a third thing, a linguistic one, in which the senses represent mind, and mind re-creates the senses.

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