It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful

It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful

by Lia Purpura


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A powerful new collection from poet, essayist, and frequent New Yorker contributor Lia Purpura
Lia Purpura has won national acclaim as both a poet and an essayist. The exquisitely rendered poems in this, her fourth collection, reach back to an early affinity for proverbs and riddles and the proto-poetry found in those forms. Taking on epic subjects—time and memory, metamorphosis and indeterminacy, the complicated nature of beauty, wordless states of being—each poem explores a bright, crisp, singular moment of awareness or shock or revelation.  Purpura reminds us that short poems, never merely brief nor fragmentary, can transcend their size, like small dogs, espresso, a drop of mercury.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143126904
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Series: Penguin Poets Series
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 1,174,379
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of poems, The Brighter the Veil, Stone Sky Lifting, and King Baby, and three collections of essays, Increase, Rough Likeness, and On Looking, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Fulbright Fellowships as well as three Pushcart prizes, among other honors. Her work appears frequently in The New Yorker, as well as in The Paris Review, Orion, Agni, Best American Essays and other publications. She is writer in residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Read an Excerpt



Light being

wavy and particulate

at once

is instructive –

why wouldn’t

other things or states

present as


For instance

I both

believe and can’t.

Holding these

together produces

a wobble, I think

it’s time

to take seriously

as a stance.

First Leaf

That yellow

was a falling-off,

a fall

for once I saw

coming –

it could

in its stillness

still be turned from,


Excerpted from "It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Lia Purpura.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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