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Cartographies

Maurya Simon

Publication Year: 2008

The poems in Cartographies travel new territory, exploring the heart’s changeable geography and the soul’s uneven terrain. They map the familiar, sometimes astonishing, and always complex world of the poet’s native San Gabriel Mountains, as well as nearby Los Angeles, with its cultural richness and social/political tensions. Divided into four sections—The Soul, The Self, Mountains, The City—Cartographies investigates and fathoms our most profound relationships with time, nature, love, and death. In poem after poem, Simon finds meaning in unexpected locales, from a hospital AIDS ward to the “Rorschach” on a butterfly’s wings to a barrio bakery, and in the briefest of moments, evoked by the plaintive voice of a spider, or provoked by a breathless escape from an avalanche. With clarity and eloquence, these poems dramatize the persistent paradoxes present in our daily lives, those interstices of yearning and mourning, fear and celebration, or anguish and amazement that reveal the deep wells and turbulence of human consciousness. With consummate craftsmanship and inner grace, Simon apprehends the elegiac within the purest moments of joy, and intimates catharsis within despair. She opens the mind’s windows to myriad small miracles provoked by the barest glimmers of wonder and hope.

Published by: Red Hen Press

Frontmatter

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Title Page, Other Works by the Author, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. 11-14

Part 1. The Soul

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pp. 15-16

The Invisible Woman

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pp. 17-17

Mysteries of the Present

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pp. 18-19

Arachnid Imperative

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pp. 20-20

A Small Elegy for a Big Dog

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pp. 21-21

The Sea Sprite

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pp. 22-22

A Thousand Acres of Light

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pp. 23-23

The Destination of Souls

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pp. 24-25

Ten Versions of Ruin and Repair

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pp. 26-29

The Invisible Woman Grows Up

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pp. 30-30

The Invisible Woman Marries Death

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pp. 31-31

The Body

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pp. 32-32

Purview

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pp. 33-34

Last Words

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pp. 35-36

Part 2. The Self

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pp. 37-38

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A Week of Minor Adjustments

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pp. 39-39

On Saturday the obscure poet received in the mail the ugliest photo of herself that she’d ever seen. The face looked ancient far beyond the poet’s middle years; it was a manly face, paunchy and pouchy and blighted by shadows, by blotchy expanses of sagging iguana skin. The poet stared at the photo ...

Ars Poetica

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pp. 40-41

The Sandpiper

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pp. 42-42

Merry-Go-Round

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pp. 43-43

Simon Says

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pp. 44-45

Second Born

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pp. 46-46

Marriage

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pp. 47-47

On Our Twentieth Anniversary

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pp. 48-48

Marriage Vow

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pp. 49-49

On Turning Forty

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pp. 50-50

In Season

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pp. 51-51

Valentine

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pp. 52-52

Bounty

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pp. 53-54

Part 3. The World : Mountains

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pp. 55-56

Bauhaus Still Life

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pp. 57-57

Keeping Track

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pp. 58-59

Revival

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pp. 60-61

Waste Management

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pp. 62-62

The Woodpecker

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pp. 63-63

Trees

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pp. 64-64

The Covenant

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pp. 65-65

The View from Mt. Baldy

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pp. 66-66

Cloud Watching

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pp. 67-67

Early Spring

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pp. 68-68

Random Silences

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pp. 69-70

Bark with Authority

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pp. 71-72

Black Widow

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pp. 73-74

Part 4. The World : City

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pp. 75-76

El Dia de los Muertos

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pp. 77-77

City of Angels

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pp. 78-78

Dulce Et Decorum Est

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pp. 79-80

Los Angeles, Fin de Siècle

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pp. 81-82

Birthday in the French Hospital, New York City

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pp. 83-83

Crèche

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pp. 84-85

The Dolphin

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pp. 86-86

At the Kuwaiti Zoo

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pp. 87-88

The AIDS Ward, U.S.C. Medical Center

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pp. 89-90

Ghosts

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pp. 91-91

The Miniaturist

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pp. 92-93

The Voyage

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pp. 94-94

Snow

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pp. 95-100

Notes and Dedications

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pp. 101-102

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About the Author

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pp. 103-104

Maurya Simon is the author of The Enchanted Room and Days of Awe (Copper Canyon Press, 1986, 1989), Speaking in Tongues (Gibbs Smith, 1990), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and The Golden Labyrinth (University of Missouri Press, 1995). A fifth volume, A Brief History of Punctuation, was published ...


E-ISBN-13: 9781597093859
Print-ISBN-13: 9781597093873
Print-ISBN-10: 1597093874

Page Count: 104
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: First

OCLC Number: 867793580
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Cartographies