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No Second Eden

Poems

Turner Cassity

Publication Year: 2002

“As jaded as Naipaul, as funny as the early Waugh, Cassity turns phrases upside down, and pieties inside out, in forms that are at once pithy and meticulous.� —Kirkus Reviews If you think that Turner Cassity has mellowed or slowed down since the 1998 release of his selected poems, The Destructive Element, think again. In No Second Eden Cassity is back more Swiftian than ever. Among the targets reduced to ruin are countertenors, parole boards, the French Symbolists, calendar reformers, the Yale Divinity School, and the cult of Elvis. Without turning a blind eye, he even extends a toast to Wernher von Braun. Surprisingly, there is a poem about the Mississippi in which Cassity grew up. Unsurprisingly, it is a vision quite unlike others of that state. Its chilly and amusing precision is about as far from Southern Gothic as you can get, although elsewhere there are faint hints of a failed Good Ole Boy. Indeed, the final poems in the collection are a bit more personal than one expects of this writer. As rigorous in form as they are in feeling, the poems of No Second Eden are not for those with preconceived ideas of poetry or its purpose. Early in Cassity’s career, James Merrill described Cassity’s work as “an opera house in the jungle.� True so far as it goes, but he might also have called it the jungle in the opera house: a glimpse at the savagery behind every façade. Turner Cassity has steadily published formal verse for 40 years. He is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, lives in Decatur, Georgia. A prolific poet, he has published nine other collections, including Between the Chains, about which the New York Times remarked, “If you require your poets to be politically correct, don’t buy Turner Cassity’s book.�

Published by: Ohio University Press

Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. ix-x

A Member of the Mystik Krewe

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p. 1

The Metrist at the Operetta

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p. 2

Stylization and Its Failures

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p. 3

WTC

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pp. 4-5

Cities of the Plain and Fancy

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pp. 6-7

Not to Seize the Moment

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p. 8

Transpositions

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pp. 9-10

Aurora Borealis of the Inner Eye

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pp. 11-12

The Creatures of Prometheus

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pp. 13-14

Uses of Hot Air

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pp. 15-16

Junkerdom in Huntsville

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pp. 17-18

Distant Early Warning

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p. 19

The Dueling Scar

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p. 20

Karl and Julius and Gregory, or, Are You a Fructidor?

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p. 21

Sonar Readings

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p. 22

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

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pp. 23-24

A Diamond Is Forever

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pp. 25-26

Oysters and Other Workers

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p. 27

Smile Please

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p. 28

Adam with a Garden Hose

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p. 29

Let My People Go, but not without Severance Pay

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p. 30

Manual vs. White Collar

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pp. 31-32

Program Notes for an Orgy

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p. 33

In the Matter of Graven Images

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p. 34

Sensitivity Training: The Safecracker

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pp. 35-36

J. P. Morgan

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p. 37

Neckties

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p. 38

A Different Perspective on A Rebours

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pp. 39-42

Favorites

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pp. 43-44

Crime and Punishment

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pp. 45-46

Boxcar Arthur and Other Myth

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pp. 47-48

Boxcar Arthur, the Sequel

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pp. 49-51

Enola Gay Rights

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p. 52

The Second-Guesser

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pp. 53-54

Estate Planning

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p. 55

I Dreamed Last Night I Went Again to Manderley

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p. 56

Victory

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p. 57

In the Receiving Line

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p. 58

Venerations

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p. 59

Hanging On

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p. 60

Why Geriatrics Are Not Sacrificed

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p. 61

Watching the Stopwatch Stopping

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p. 62

The Ultimate National Monument

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p. 63

The Grateful Minimalist

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pp. 64-65


E-ISBN-13: 9780804040044
Print-ISBN-13: 9780804010511

Publication Year: 2002

OCLC Number: 560539214
MUSE Marc Record: Download for No Second Eden