Sleeping It Off in Rapid City

Sleeping It Off in Rapid City

Poems, New and Selected

Book - 2008
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The first broad retrospective of August Kleinzahler's career, "Sleeping It Off in Rapid City" gathers poems from his major works along with a rich portion of new poems that visit different voice registers, experiment with form and length, and confirm Kleinzahler as among the most inventive and brilliant poets of our time. Travel--actual and imaginary--remains a passion and inspiration, and in these pages the poet also finds "This sanctified ground / Here, yes, here / The dead solid center of the universe / At the heart of the heart of America."

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2008.
ISBN: 9780374265830
0374265836
Branch Call Number: 811 KLE
Characteristics: 234 p.

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vickiz
Dec 18, 2008

I am loving Kleinzahler's jaunty juxtaposition of high-falutin' references with down-to-earth commentary. Having heard him read and give speeches, it's great to hear his voice in my head as I'm reading his words. I go back to this wonderful, funny, moving speech of his all the time:

http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com/speeches.php?t=2

One of my favourite poems from "Rapid City" is thematically similar to Kleinzahler's "The Strange Hours Travellers Keep", about the disorientation that travellers feel in places like indistinguishable hotel rooms. The poem is entitled "On waking in a room and not knowing where one is".

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vickiz
Dec 27, 2008

Excerpt from ...

On waking in a room and not knowing where one is

... One is able to make out shapes.
It is not restful, to be like this, here,
nor is it a fearful place.
In a moment or two you will know
exactly where you are,
on which side of the door,
your wallet, your shoes,
and what today you'll have to do.

Cities each have a kind of light,
a color even,
or set of undertones
determined by the river or hills
as well as by the stone
or their countless buildings.
I cannot yet recall what city this is I'm in.
It must be close to dawn.

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