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Here I Throw Down My Heart

Colleen McElroy

Publication Year: 2012

The poems in Here I Throw Down My Heart prompt readers to see beyond the surface of images, whether that surface is a uniform, a prescribed setting, a familiar geography, or the surface that evokes the most social commentary, skin—the body itself. The modern world moves at a greater speed than the world of a few generations ago, so we look for ways to sort our likes and dislikes, to set our comfort zones. These poems say: “don’t believe everything you see, look again.” The poems look at how borders between countries, or between genders and class have deepened the lines between the haves and have-nots. While everyone is on a collision course for lack of food and water, those dividing lines seem more impenetrable than ever, underscoring the disparity between gender, race, and class.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Series: Pitt Poetry Series

Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Preface. Dancing in the Flaming World: A View of Alma Thomas

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pp. vii-x

The cover image, Blue and Brown Still Life, is a painting by Alma Thomas, one of the preeminent abstract expressionist painters of the twentieth century. An African American woman of diminutive stature, her art often gave us a larger than life expansion of details drawn from...

I

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p. 1

JuJu Crossings

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pp. 3-6

Making Ends Meet

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pp. 7-8

Nostalgia

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pp. 9-11

Mannequin

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pp. 12-13

The Silver Screen

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pp. 14-15

The Memory of Skin

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pp. 16-17

Is This Our Body?

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pp. 18-19

Pedestrians Crossing

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pp. 20-21

The Theory of Flight

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pp. 22-23

Ghosts of My Familiars

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p. 24

The Bone Thief

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pp. 25-26

Cataracts

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p. 27

Crossing the Rubicon at Seventy

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p. 28

Where Forgotten Things Belong

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p. 29

II

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p. 31

Collateral Damage

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p. 33

Military Woman: Evolution

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pp. 34-35

Recruited

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pp. 36-37

Humvee

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p. 38

First Blood

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p. 39

Altar Candles

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p. 40

Film Noir

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pp. 41-42

Roadkill

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pp. 43-44

What Stays Here

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pp. 45-47

R&R

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pp. 48-49

A Gender More Deadly

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p. 50

Second Tour

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p. 51

Furlough

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p. 52

The Homefront

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p. 53

What News

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pp. 54-55

III

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p. 57

On with the Dance

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pp. 59-60

Aubade

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p. 61

Falling in Love with the Sword Swallower

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p. 62

Vows

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p. 63

Counting Sheep

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p. 64

The Sojourner’s Diary

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p. 65

After the Waters

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pp. 66-67

Basin Street

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pp. 68-69

Ice Golf on the Arctic Circle

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p. 70

Crossing Oceans

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pp. 71-72

Hunger

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pp. 73-75

IV

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p. 77

Going There

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p. 79

American Rude

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pp. 80-81

Playing the Dozens

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pp. 82-83

Good Juju / Bad Juju

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pp. 84-85

Conceit

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pp. 86-87

Arrivals

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p. 88

Liquid Borders

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p. 89

Walmart with Snakes

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p. 90

Albedo

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pp. 91-92

Non-Combatant

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p. 93

The Art of War

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pp. 94-95

Diseases of the Earth

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pp. 96-100

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Acknowledgments

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p. 101

My thanks to the editors and publishers of the following journals in which these poems first appeared, some in slightly different versions: “After the Waters” and “Basin Street” in Hurricane Blues; “What News,” “Playing the Dozens,” and “Making Ends Meet” in Nimrod; “Albedo,” “Diseases of the...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780822978435
E-ISBN-10: 0822978431
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822962052
Print-ISBN-10: 0822962055

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Pitt Poetry Series
Series Editor Byline: Ed Ochester See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 830023858
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Here I Throw Down My Heart

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