In this Book

Unbeknownst
summary

Julie Hanson’s award-winning collection, Unbeknownst, gives us plainspoken poems of unstoppable candor. They are astonished and sobered by the incoming data; they are funny; they are psychologically accurate and beautifully made. Hanson’s is a mind interested in human responsibility—to ourselves and to each other—and unhappy about the disappointments that are bound to transpire (“We’ve been like gods, our powers wasted”). These poems are lonely with spiritual longing and wise with remorse for all that cannot last.

“The Kindergartners” begins, “All their lives they’ve waited for / the yellow bus to come for them,” then moves directly to the present reality: “Now it’s February and the mat / is wet.” Settings and events are local and familiar, never more exotic than a yoga session at the Y, one of several instances where the body is central to the report and to the net result (“I slip in and fold / behind the wheel into the driver’s seat like a thin young thing: / My organs are surely glistening. This car was made for me.“). These poems are intimate revelations, thinking as they go, including the reader in the progress of their thoughts.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. I
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Use the Book
  2. p. 3
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  1. Double Bed
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. Betrayal (A Valentine)
  2. p. 6
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  1. Flow
  2. p. 7
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  1. His Dream
  2. pp. 8-10
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  1. Instead
  2. p. 11
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  1. Promise
  2. pp. 12-13
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  1. Scant
  2. p. 14
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  1. II
  2. pp. 15-50
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  1. Criterion for Sleep
  2. p. 17
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  1. Balance
  2. p. 18
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  1. Table for Three
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. Remedial Weeding
  2. p. 21
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  1. Hurdle
  2. p. 22
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  1. Under November
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. Always a Little Something Somewhere in the Purse
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. Allocation
  2. pp. 27-29
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  1. Basis
  2. pp. 30-33
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  1. Grab the Far End
  2. pp. 34-35
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  1. Untitled
  2. p. 36
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  1. Larger
  2. p. 37
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  1. Approval
  2. p. 38
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  1. Only Hat
  2. p. 39
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  1. Difficult Fortunes
  2. p. 40
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  1. Boy at Dusk
  2. p. 41
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  1. Exact Change
  2. p. 42
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  1. Philosophy
  2. p. 43
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  1. The Kindergartners
  2. p. 44
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  1. This Happened Rather Quickly in Slow Motion
  2. p. 45
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  1. Right This Way, This Way to My Heart
  2. p. 46
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  1. Long Dance, Slow Revolution
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. Somewhere Else
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. III
  2. p. 51
  1. This will remind you of who has abandoned you;
  2. p. 53
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  1. Cold Cereal and Milk at 3 a.m.
  2. p. 54
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  1. Covenant
  2. p. 55
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  1. A Continual Effort
  2. p. 56
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  1. Tumbleweed
  2. p. 57
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  1. MMI–MMVII
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. Prayer
  2. pp. 60-61
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  1. Praemeditatio
  2. p. 62
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  1. The Anxiety of the Pilgrim
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. We may think that we haven’t the courage
  2. p. 65
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  1. To encapsulate the unattainable, you speak to me of work
  2. p. 66
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 69
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