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That Kind of Happy
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October Aubade If I slept too long, forgive me. A north wind quickened the window frames so the room pitched like a moving train and the pillow's whiff of hickory and shaving soap conjured your body beside me. So I slept in the berth as the train chuffed on, unburdened by waking's cold water, ignorant of pain, estrangement, hunger and the crucial fuel the boiler burned to keep the minutes' pistons churning while I slept. Forgive me. That Kind of Happy, the long-awaited second collection by award-winning poet Maggie Dietz, explores the sharp, profound tension between a disquieted inner life and quotidian experience. Central to the book are poems that take up two major life events: becoming a mother and losing a father within a short stretch of time. Here, at the intersection of joy and grief, of persistence and attrition, Dietz wrestles with the questions posed by such conflicting experiences, revealing a mind suspicious of quick fixes and dissatisfied with easy answers. The result is a book as anguished as it is distinguished.
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About the Author

Maggie Dietz is the author of Perennial Fall, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and coeditor of Americans' Favorite Poems, Poems to Read, and An Invitation to Poetry. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Just ordinary everyday experiences. Death, for instance, oh and a child gets his fingers acetoned by a toothbrush for trying to help a wounded expiring bird, its Black eyes visible through skeins / of lids, its soft pink belly like a clam. And there s the gossamer ice of a frozen river, like bright / metal hammered fine as the / ghost of the ghost of a moon. And the birth of a baby, every one / of its live cells singing / Hosanna for we praise / you and please save / us as being trains its / way into the lighted room. . . . Things like that. Everyday instances. All these extraordinary human things, the pleasure and the pain, sung about in a versification which is a radiant celebratory light shining on them. --David Ferry" "Just ordinary everyday experiences. Death, for instance, oh and a child gets his fingers acetoned by a toothbrush for trying to help a wounded expiring bird, its 'Black eyes visible through skeins / of lids, ' its 'soft pink belly like a clam.' And there's the 'gossamer ice' of a frozen river, like 'bright / metal hammered fine as the / ghost of the ghost of a moon.' And the birth of a baby, 'every one / of its live cells singing / Hosanna for "we praise / you" and "please save / us" as being trains its / way into the lighted room. . . .' Things like that. Everyday instances. All these extraordinary human things, the pleasure and the pain, sung about in a versification which is a radiant celebratory light shining on them."--David Ferry

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