In this Book

summary

The Bad Secret takes readers on a dark yet sometimes comic sojourn through the undercurrents of a life suddenly unmoored by grief, and then to the subsequent rise of the spirit to recovery. Tough-minded and intellectual, Judith Harris's poems are also distinguished by brilliant images close to metaphysical. They reflect on childhood, nature, mental and physical illness, the loss of a mother, and the levity of being simply human. In a voice entirely her own, Harris confronts life's secrets with their hidden meanings inspired by guilt and redemption, offering a music of tenderness and hope.

I watch it gutter down, over the pine's edge,over the pink and orange sunset,diving into the abyss,with its wings perpendicular to the ravine.By now, I have broken offfrom the rest, pretending I'm an orphan -- my eyes fixed on the unseeable destruction

of my ghost in that suicidal machine. "Hush," I say, as if hatred was a sound,as if I could make the negative positive, but nature itself has given up on the picture of my happy family, and pretends not to look at the box with the rolled-up Kodak filmtumbling over the ledgegathering more weight and velocity.

-- "My Father Throws His Camera Down the Grand Canyon, 1968"

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. I
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. The Bad Secret
  2. p. 3
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  1. Tow-Rope
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. View of the North Hospital Grounds
  2. pp. 6-7
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  1. The Discipline of Craft, Easter Morning
  2. p. 8
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  1. Meter Making
  2. p. 9
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  1. The Smell
  2. p. 10
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  1. "Oh"
  2. p. 11
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  1. The Session
  2. p. 12
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  1. To You, Doctor Rosenblum
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. I tell you
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. II
  2. pp. 17-18
  1. Thinking About How Babies Are Made
  2. p. 19
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  1. A Snapshot of My Sister and Me, My First Birthday, 1957
  2. p. 20
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  1. My Father Throws His Camera Down the Grand Canyon, 1968
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Brownie Troop
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. My Grandfather's Leg
  2. p. 25
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  1. Air-Conditioned House
  2. p. 26
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  1. To My Twelve-Year-Old Daughter Away at Camp
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. My Daughter Going to a Dance
  2. p. 29
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  1. Schoolgirl's Crush
  2. p. 30
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  1. Dolls' Kingdom
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. III
  2. pp. 33-34
  1. For a Friend Who Said All Things Are Possible
  2. p. 35
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  1. Negligees
  2. p. 36
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  1. Hatpin
  2. p. 37
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  1. Battleground
  2. p. 38
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  1. Falling
  2. p. 39
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  1. January at the Nursing Home
  2. p. 40
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  1. My Mother Always Slept like an Angel
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. My Mother's Dementia
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. In a Taxi Going Home
  2. p. 45
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  1. Small Resurrection
  2. p. 46
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  1. About Desperation
  2. p. 47
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  1. My Mother's Unveiling
  2. p. 48
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  1. IV
  2. pp. 49-50
  1. Wild Elms Speaking in Gold Light
  2. p. 51
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  1. Still Waltz
  2. p. 52
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  1. To An Unseen Companion
  2. p. 53
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  1. Man and Wife
  2. p. 54
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  1. Aubade
  2. p. 55
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  1. Middle Age
  2. p. 56
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  1. Watching a Ladybug on an Arm Rest at Robert Frost's House
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. Bethlehem, New Hampshire
  2. p. 59
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  1. To a Friend Waiting for News about His Nephew's Heart Transplant
  2. pp. 60-61
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  1. Bow
  2. p. 62
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  1. Making Mistakes on Purpose
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. Magic Trick
  2. p. 65
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  1. The Clash
  2. p. 66
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780807165928
MARC Record
OCLC
966854720
Pages
72
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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