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Playlist for the Apocalypse

Playlist for the Apocalypse

by Rita Dove


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Notes From Your Bookseller

In 2020, we were treated to new works by such tried and true poets as Margaret Atwood, Nikki Giovanni and Barbara Kingsolver. This year, we rejoice in a new book by Rita Dove. All of these authors have much in their hearts and pens to teach readers and budding poets of all ages. A collective bow to Dove for delivering in 2021. Her words are valuable ANY TIME. But now, this year, seems to be the perfect and right time.

Praise for Rita Dove

“Through works that blend beauty, lyricism, critique, and politics, Ms. Dove has illuminated American poetry and literature.” —Barack Obama, National Medal of Arts commendation

“Few contemporary poets are this capacious, this capable, this serious, and this pleasurable to read.… The lyric beauty of Dove’s poems makes them unforgettable; their deep knowledge of history and its consequences makes them permanent.” —Craig Morgan Teicher, Los Angeles Times

“There are so many casual pleasures in Ms. Dove’s poetry that the precision and dexterity in her work—the darkness, too—can catch you unawares.… [Her] poems have earthiness, originality, power and range. Despair and loss are among her central themes, but so is the hunt for bedrock human pleasures.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times

“One of the nation’s most respected literary figures.… [A] writer who masterfully balances narrative and poetic finesse. Dove has often been praised, rightly so, for making all of this look easy.” —Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

“Dove’s poems… all display a crystalline sound and composition. They read as if they were always meant to be.” —Barbara Berman, The Rumpus

“Rita Dove has planed away unnecessary matter: pure shapes, her poems exhibit the thrift that Yeats called the sign of a perfected manner.” —Helen Vendler, New York Review of Books

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393867770
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/17/2021
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 33,081
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate, is the only poet honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. Her recent works include Playlist for the Apocalypse, Sonata Mulattica, and the National Book Award–shortlisted Collected Poems: 1974–2004. In 2021 she was awarded the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Charlottesville, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents

Prose in a Small Space 1

Time's Arrow

Bellringer 5

Lucille, Post-Operative Years 7

Family Reunion 8

Girls on the Town, 1946 10

Eurydice, Turning 11

Scarf 12

From the Sidelines 13

Mirror 14

Found Sonnet: The Wig 15

Trans- 16

Climacteric 17

Island 18

Vacation 19

A-wing' 20

After Egypt

Little Town 25

Foundry 26

Sarra's Answer 28

Sarra's Blues 29

Aubade: The Constitutional 30

Sketch for Terezín 32

Orders of the Day 35

Transit 36

Declaration of Interdependence 37

Elevator Man, 1949 39

Youth Sunday 40

Aubade East 41

Trayvon, Redux 42

Aubade West 44

Naji, 14. Philadelphia. 45

Ghettoland: Exeunt 46

Spring Cricket

The Spring Cricket Considers the Question of Negritude 49

The Spring Cricket Repudiates His Parable of Negritude 50

The Spring Cricket's Grievance: Little Outburst 52

The Spring Cricket Observes Valentine's Day 53

The Spring Cricket's Discourse on Critics 54

Hip Hop Cricket 55

Postlude 56

A Standing Witness

Beside the Golden Door 59

Your Tired, Your Poor … 60

Bridged Air 61

Giant 62

Huddle 63

Woman, Aflame 64

Mother of Exiles 65

Wretched 66

Limbs Astride, Land to Land 67

World-Wide Welcome 68

Imprisoned Lightning 70

Send These to Me 71

Keep Your Storied Pomp 72

The Sunset Gates 73

Eight Angry Odes

The Angry Odes: An Introduction 77

Pedestrian Crossing, Charlottesville 78

Ode on a Shopping List Found in Last Season's Shorts 79

Insomnia Etiquette 80

Ode to My Right Knee 82

Anniversary 83

Shakespeare Doesn't Care 84

A Sonnet for the Sonnet 86

Little Book of Woe

Soup 89

Pearl on Wednesdays 91

The Terror and the Pity 92

No Color 93

Blues, Straight 94

Borderline Mambo 95

Voiceover 96

Rosary 98

Green Koan 100

Last Words 101

This Is the Poem I Did Not Write 102

Rive d'Urale 103

Mercy 107

Wayfarer's Night Song 108

Notes 109

Acknowledgments 113

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