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Book Of Hours: Poems
by Kevin Young

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.95
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9780307272249
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Book Description:

A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief. “In the night I brush / my teeth with a razor,” he tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement (“Not the storm / but the calm / that slays me”), Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life’s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son: in “Crowning,” he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing “her face / full of fire, then groaning your face / out like a flower, blood-bloom,/ crocused into air.” Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking “What good/are wishes if they aren’t / used up?” while understanding “How to listen / to what’s gone.” Young’s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life’s mysteries.

Winner BCALA Poetry Book Award

A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief.

In the night I brush
my teeth with a razor

He tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement

Not the storm
but the calm
that slays me

Kevin Young acknowledges, even celebrates, life’s passages, his loss transformed and tempered in a sequence about the birth of his son: in “Crowning,” he delivers what is surely one of the most powerful birth poems written by a man, describing

her face
full of fire, then groaning your face
out like a flower, blood-bloom,
crocused into air.

Ending this book of both birth and grief, the gorgeous title sequence brings acceptance, asking

What good
are wishes if they aren’t
used up?

while understanding

How to listen
to what’s gone.

Young’s frank music speaks directly to the reader in these elemental poems, reminding us that the right words can both comfort us and enlarge our understanding of life’s mysteries.



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