Sometimes I Never Suffered: Poems

Sometimes I Never Suffered: Poems

by Shane McCrae

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Overview

Spanning religious, historical, and political themes, a new collection from the award-winning poet

I think now more than half

Of life is death but I can’t die
Enough for all the life I see

In Sometimes I Never Suffered, his seventh collection of poems, Shane McCrae remains “a shrewd composer of American stories” (Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker). Here, an angel, hastily thrown together by his fellow residents of Heaven, plummets to Earth in his first moments of consciousness. Jim Limber, the adopted mixed-race son of Jefferson Davis, wanders through the afterlife, reckoning with the nuances of America’s racial history, as well as his own.

Sometimes I Never Suffered is a search for purpose and atonement, freedom and forgiveness, imagining eternity not as an escape from the past or present, but as a reverberating record and as the culmination of time’s manifold potential to mend.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374240813
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 08/04/2020
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 577,279
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Shane McCrae is the author of several books of poetry: The Gilded Auction Block; In the Language of My Captor, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the William Carlos Williams Award; The Animal Too Big to Kill, winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky / Editor’s Choice Award; Forgiveness Forgiveness; Blood; and Mule. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Jim Limber in Heaven Is a Nexus at Which the Many Heavens of the Multiverse Converge

1. Fresh Eyes for a Fresh World
The Hastily Assembled Angel Falls at the Beginning of the World
The Wings of the Hastily Assembled Angel
The Hastily Assembled Angel Considers What It Means to Be Made in the Image Of
The Hastily Assembled Angel Also Sustains the World
The Hastily Assembled Angel on Care and Vitality
The Hastily Assembled Angel Considers His Own Foreknowing
The Hastily Assembled Angel Meets the God of Human Freedom
The Hastily Assembled Angel at the Gate
The Tree of Knowledge
The Loneliness of the Hastily Assembled Angel
The Hastily Assembled Angel Considers the Duties Owed to Love
The Hastily Assembled Angel Considers the Lives of Dogs and of People

2. Variations on Jim Limber Goes to Heaven
Jim Limber Tells the Truth About His Fate
Jim Limber’s Home Is No Earthly Home
Jim Limber Describes His Arrival in Heaven
Jim Limber Refuses to Enter Heaven Until He Has Lived a Happy Life
Jim Limber Enters the Joint Economy of Heaven and Earth
Jim Limber on the Inability of the Enslaved to See Themselves
Jim Limber’s Theodicy
Jim Limber on the Ever-Growing Hunger for the New
Jim Limber Sees People Get the Heaven They Want
Jim Limber on the White Embrace
Old Times There

Limbo
Jim Limber Burning Where No Fire Is

2. Variations on Jim Limber Goes to Heaven
Jim Limber on the Gates of Heaven
Jim Limber on the Peace Which Passeth All Understanding
Jesus and the Mongrel Dog
Jim Limber on the Heavenly Reward
Jim Limber in Heaven Writes His Name in Water
Heaven in Heaven
Jim Limber on the Gardens of the Face of God
Jim Limber on Continuity in Heaven
Jim Limber Tells What He Knows About Heaven
Jim Limber on Possibility

1. Fresh Eyes for a Fresh World
The Ladder to Heaven

Acknowledgments

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