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Cracks in the Invisible


Stephen Kampa

Publication Year: 2011

Stephen Kampa’s poems are witty and restless in their pursuit of an intelligent modern faith. They range from a four-line satire of office inspirational posters to a lengthy meditation on the silence of God. The poems also revel in the prosodic possibilities of English’s high and low registers: a twenty–one line homage to Lord Byron that turns on three rhymes (one of which is “eisegesis”); a sestina whose end words include “sentimental,” “Marseilles,” and “Martian;” sapphics on the death of Ray Charles; and intricately modulated stanzas on the 1931 Spanish–language movie version of Dracula.

Despite the metaphysical seriousness, there is always an undercurrent of stylistic levity — a panoply of puns, comic rhymes, and loving misquotations of canonical literature — that suggests comedy and tragedy are inextricably bound in human experience.

Published by: Ohio University Press


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Title page

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pp. vii-viii

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors of the following journals where these poems, sometimes in earlier versions, first found homes: Birmingham Poetry Review: “Mirror Image,” “The Therapist on Teleology” The Hopkins Review: sections II and III of “Domestic Operetta for One Voice” (titled “Cleaning House”), “Message on a Bottle” Measure: “Organic Decomposition” (titled “Sinful Roots”) River Styx: “Dracula in Spanish: Imitations of Immortality,” “Streetlight...


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pp. ix-x


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pp. 1-4

I. Sightings

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pp. 5-18

II. Sidewalk Chalk

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pp. 19-32

III. Elegies and Valedictions

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pp. 33-48

IV. Voices in My Head

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pp. 49-64

V. Absence Makes the Heart

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pp. 65-82

VI. A Little Wind and Smoke

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pp. 83-106


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pp. 107-108

E-ISBN-13: 9780821443767
Print-ISBN-13: 9780821419526

Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 732958816
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