Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems

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9780385353755: Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems

The poet Patrick Phillips brings us a stunning third collection that is at its core a son’s lament for his father. This book of elegies takes us from the luminous world of childhood to the fluorescent glare of operating rooms and recovery wards, and into the twilight lives of those who must go on. In one poem Phillips watches his sons play “Mercy” just as he did with his brother: hands laced, the stronger pushing the other back until he grunts for mercy, “a game we played // so many times / I finally taught my sons, // not knowing what it was, / until too late, I’d done.” Phillips documents the unsung joys of midlife, the betrayals of the human body, and his realization that as the crowd of ghosts grows, we take our places, next in line. The result is a twenty-first-century memento mori, fashioned not just from loss but also from praise, and a fierce love for the world in all its ruined splendor.

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About the Author:

PATRICK PHILLIPS is the author of two poetry collections, Boy and Chattahoochee, which won the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His honors include both Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Discovery / The Nation Prize from the 92nd Street Y, and the Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Elegy for a Broken Machine

My father was trying

to fix something

and I sat there just watching,

like I used to,

whenever something

went wrong.

I kept asking where he’d been,

until he put down a wrench

and said Listen:

dying’s just something

that happens sometimes.

Who knows

where that kind of dream comes from?

Why some things

vanish, and some

just keep going forever?

Like that look on his face

when he’d stare off at something

I could never make out

in the murky garage,

his ear pressed

to whatever it was

that had died—

his eyes listening for something

so deep inside it, I thought

even the silence,

if you listened,

meant something.

*****
Old Love

You, lovely beyond

all lovely, who

I’ve loved since I

first looked into

your blue

beyond blue eyes,

are no longer

anywhere on earth

the girl these words

call out to,

though never, since,

have I not been

a darkening wood

she walks through.

***** 

The Guitar


It came with those scratches

from all their belt buckles,

palm-dark with their sweat

like the stock of a gun:

an arc of pickmarks cut

clear through the lacquer

where all the players before me

once strummed—once

thumbed these same latches

where it sleeps in green velvet.

Once sang, as I sing, the old songs.

There’s no end, there’s no end

to this world, everlasting.

We crumble to dust in its arms.

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Descrizione libro Alfred A. Knopf, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The poet Patrick Phillips brings us a stunning third collection that is at its core a son s lament for his father. This book of elegies takes us from the luminous world of childhood to the fluorescent glare of operating rooms and recovery wards, and into the twilight lives of those who must go on. In one poem Phillips watches his sons play Mercy just as he did with his brother: hands laced, the stronger pushing the other back until he grunts for mercy, a game we played // so many times / I finally taught my sons, // not knowing what it was, / until too late, I d done. Phillips documents the unsung joys of midlife, the betrayals of the human body, and his realization that as the crowd of ghosts grows, we take our places, next in line. The result is a twenty-first-century memento mori, fashioned not just from loss but also from praise, and a fierce love for the world in all its ruined splendor. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780385353755

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Descrizione libro Alfred A. Knopf, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The poet Patrick Phillips brings us a stunning third collection that is at its core a son s lament for his father. This book of elegies takes us from the luminous world of childhood to the fluorescent glare of operating rooms and recovery wards, and into the twilight lives of those who must go on. In one poem Phillips watches his sons play Mercy just as he did with his brother: hands laced, the stronger pushing the other back until he grunts for mercy, a game we played // so many times / I finally taught my sons, // not knowing what it was, / until too late, I d done. Phillips documents the unsung joys of midlife, the betrayals of the human body, and his realization that as the crowd of ghosts grows, we take our places, next in line. The result is a twenty-first-century memento mori, fashioned not just from loss but also from praise, and a fierce love for the world in all its ruined splendor. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780385353755

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Descrizione libro Alfred A. Knopf, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The poet Patrick Phillips brings us a stunning third collection that is at its core a son s lament for his father. This book of elegies takes us from the luminous world of childhood to the fluorescent glare of operating rooms and recovery wards, and into the twilight lives of those who must go on. In one poem Phillips watches his sons play Mercy just as he did with his brother: hands laced, the stronger pushing the other back until he grunts for mercy, a game we played // so many times / I finally taught my sons, // not knowing what it was, / until too late, I d done. Phillips documents the unsung joys of midlife, the betrayals of the human body, and his realization that as the crowd of ghosts grows, we take our places, next in line. The result is a twenty-first-century memento mori, fashioned not just from loss but also from praise, and a fierce love for the world in all its ruined splendor. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780385353755

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Descrizione libro Knopf, 2015. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0385353758

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