Veil: New and Selected Poems

Veil: New and Selected Poems

by Rae Armantrout

Paperback(New Edition)

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Rae Armantrout, a core member of the Language writing movement, has long been known for the wit, emotion and punch of her social critique. Veil contains poems from five of Armantrout's previous books as well as a generous selection of new poems. Her work relies tenaciously on the intelligibility of language, her careful syntax bordering on plain speech and meticulously scored lines always questioning how linguistic subjects are formed. Armantrout is interested in questions of origin, and the psychology of perception; she is interested in who is speaking and how we know what we know. Fans will welcome the chance to become reacquainted with her witty and lyric meditations on erotic and family issues, and new readers will be captivated by her poems' immediate availability and freshness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819564504
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 10/23/2001
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

RAE ARMANTROUT is a professor of writing in the literature department at the University of California at San Diego, and the author of eight books of poetry, including Up to Speed (2003) and Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001).

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Going to the Desert
is the old term

"landscape of zeroes"

the glitter of edges
again catches the eye

to approach these swords!

lines across which
beings vanish / flare

the charmed verges of presence



a spring there
where his entry must be made

signals him on


the sentence

isn't turned to salt
no stuttering


    I am walking

    covey in sudden flight


    We know the story.

She turns
back to find her trail
devoured by birds.

The years; the



Hoping my face shows the pleasure I felt, I'm
smiling languidly. Acting. To put your mind
atrest—how odd! At first we loved because
we startled one another


Not pleased to see the
rubber band, chapstick, tinfoil,
this pen, things
made for our use

But the bouquet you made
of doorknobs, long nails for
their stems sometimes
brings happiness


Is it bourgeois to dwell on nuance? Or effeminate?
Or should we attend to it the way a careful animal
sniffs the wind?


Say the tone of an afternoon

Kindly but sad

"The ark of the ache of it"

12 doorsteps per block


In the suburbs butterflies
still spiral up the breeze
like a drawing of weightlessness.
To enter into this spirit!
But Mama's saying she's alright
"as far as breathing and all that"


When you're late I turn slavish, listen hard for
your footstep. Sound that represents the end of


    Not the city lights. We want

    -the moon-

               The Moon
none of our own doing!


By Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Wesleyan University Press

Copyright © 2001 Rachel Blau DuPlessis. All rights reserved.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Wit like the proverbial razor, clarity a shimmer of glass, these poems make truth a simple matter, elegant, wistful—forever."—Robert Creeley, author of Life & Death

Robert Creeley

"Wit like the proverbial razor, clarity a shimmer of glass, these poems make truth a simple matter, elegant, wistful--forever."
Robert Creeley, author of Life & Death

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