In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
summary
Haunting and haunted, The River Won’t Hold You interrogates loneliness and loss with quiet insistence. In poems fashioned at the difficult intersection of imagination and experience, Karin Gottshall seeks an uneasy solace in the mysterious gaps between them: “I tell myself I can be content with the pleasures / permitted ghosts,” she writes in “Afterlife,” “but my body wakes up / leaking saltwater, and won’t let my ghost-self be.” Poetic structure and the music of language offer a seductive repository for memory, philosophy, and pain. These poems are generous in both their formal approaches and their palettes of sound and silences. But Gottshall never settles for an easy or artificial solution to the questions her poems ask; the beauty of her work comes, instead, from the directness of her gaze and the images that gaze fixes itself upon: “Wide-open, staring eyes of the tiger / I drew and had to destroy because it wouldn’t sleep.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Front Matter
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. 1. Forecast
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Part I
  2. pp. 3-3
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  1. 2. Lesson
  2. pp. 5-5
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  1. 3. The Tiger
  2. pp. 6-6
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  1. 4. Faith
  2. pp. 7-7
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  1. 5. Vespers
  2. pp. 8-8
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  1. 6. Parochial
  2. pp. 9-9
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  1. 7. Circus
  2. pp. 10-10
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  1. 8. Soap
  2. pp. 11-11
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  1. 9. Virginity
  2. pp. 12-12
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  1. 10. Pretty Stories
  2. pp. 13-13
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  1. 11. Earthquake
  2. pp. 14-14
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  1. 12. Blink Once
  2. pp. 15-15
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  1. 13. To Celia
  2. pp. 16-19
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  1. 14. Eve
  2. pp. 20-20
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  1. 15. Once
  2. pp. 21-21
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  1. 16. The Sliver
  2. pp. 22-22
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  1. 17. After all, the river
  2. pp. 23-23
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  1. 18. Conception
  2. pp. 24-24
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  1. Part II
  2. pp. 25-25
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  1. 19. More Lies
  2. pp. 27-27
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  1. 20. The Wasted Years
  2. pp. 28-28
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  1. 21. Luxury
  2. pp. 29-29
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  1. 22. Sister
  2. pp. 30-30
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  1. 23. Cathedral Cities
  2. pp. 31-31
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  1. 24. Even Forty
  2. pp. 32-32
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  1. 25. Father -
  2. pp. 33-33
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  1. 26. Permission
  2. pp. 34-34
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  1. 27. Eros and the Reader
  2. pp. 35-36
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  1. 28. Mending
  2. pp. 37-37
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  1. 29. Why I Did It
  2. pp. 38-38
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  1. 30. The Consolation of Philosophy
  2. pp. 39-39
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  1. 31. Rain
  2. pp. 40-40
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  1. 32. Translation
  2. pp. 41-41
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  1. 33. When We Were Surrealists
  2. pp. 42-42
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  1. 34. The Temple of Vesta
  2. pp. 43-43
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  1. 35. Love Poem with Ebb Tide
  2. pp. 44-44
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  1. 36. Love Poem with Darkened Lamps
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 47-47
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  1. 37. The weather is a better companion and by that I don't just mean
  2. pp. 49-49
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  1. 38. Yellow House Poem
  2. pp. 50-50
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  1. 39. Operative
  2. pp. 51-51
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  1. 40. Ghost Story
  2. pp. 52-52
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  1. 41. Diorama
  2. pp. 53-53
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  1. 42. The Snow House
  2. pp. 54-54
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  1. 43. Raven
  2. pp. 55-55
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  1. 44. Tell your phone to stop calling me
  2. pp. 56-56
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  1. 45. Listening to the Dead
  2. pp. 57-57
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  1. 46. Satellite
  2. pp. 58-58
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  1. 47. The River Child
  2. pp. 59-59
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  1. 48. Household Gods
  2. pp. 60-60
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  1. 49. Afterlife
  2. pp. 61-61
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  1. 50. Departure
  2. pp. 62-62
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  1. 51. Lullaby
  2. pp. 63-63
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  1. Back Cover
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