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Water Puppets

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Description

Winner of the 2010 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry

In her third poetry collection, Quan Barry explores the universal image of war as evidenced in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Vietnam, the country of her birth. In the long poem “meditations” Barry examines her own guilt in initially supporting the invasion of Iraq. Throughout the manuscript she investigates war and its aftermath by negotiating between geographically disparate landscapes—from the genocide in the Congo—to a series of pros poem “snapshots” of modern day Vietnam. Despite the gravity of war, Barry also turns her signature lyricism to other topics such as the beauty of Peru or the paintings of Ana Fernandez.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 25, 2011 – The poems in Barry's third collection are fragments of violence melded together. Her poem "Meditations," has quick-paced leaps from China to Iraq often switching in time or place within a phrase. Her frenetic form reflects the contemporary world's unceasing access to information. Peace is nothing but a man in the rain: "He is getting wet, his sign soggy. Peace. Some passersby/ flip him off." Her language is unnerving and relentless. In another of her longer poems, "Reportage," Barry's line breaks are disorienting and disconcerting: "in a voice-over a man is singing the melody delicate/ like a bird made of paper someone is floating/ face down in a body of stagnant water." "Thanksgiving" grafts the American holiday complete with turkey ("Where do the viscera ever go?") with Mohammed Halim, murdered by the Taliban in 2006 for educating girls. "The men took out half his bowel,/ the viscera steaming as they do, and they tied him/ ingeniously in such a way that they tore him apart." Even her more tranquil poems about Peru contain these dark currents. "I wish it my suffering,// this hardening in me,/I give the bird/ with its tearing feet// my pain." Barry's poems dwell in "the dark traps where things collect." She confesses that "the truth is my true shattering is moral/ I want to change but I can't."
Water Puppets
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Aug 28, 2011
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Seller: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Print Length: 88 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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