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Eldest Daughter

Poems

Ava Leavell Haymon

Publication Year: 2013

In Eldest Daughter, Ava Leavell Haymon displays her mastery of the craft and engages us with the poetic gifts we have come to expect from her. As in previous collections, she combines the sensory and the spiritual in wild verbal fireworks. Concrete descriptions of a woman's life in the mid-twentieth-century American South mix with wider concerns about family lies and truths, and a culture that supports or forbids clear speech.

In a passage from "The Holy Ghost Attends Vacation Bible School," the physical world of children interplays with the divine:

The least likely place the Holy Ghost ever descendedwas in east Mississippi. Red clay hillsand church politics soured on years of inbreeding.Every deacon drove a pickup. At Bible School,the kids played red rover and rolled downthe sharp slope behind the Baptist church.He recognized the dizziness at the bottomand the fear of having your name called,but the grass stains, the torn blouses,and sprained wrists -- these were beyond Him.

Haymon's poems encourage us to revel in the natural world and enjoy its delights, as well as to confront the difficult realities that keep us from doing so.

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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pp. 2-9

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

From Dusk to Need: 25 Years of Flume Press Chapbooks, edited by Casey Huff (Chico, CA: Flume Press, 2010): “Four-Year-Old Invents a New Curse Word” (there titled “Godshit”), “In Gratitude for a Southern Baptist Upbringing,” and “In Which I Forgive My Mother Her Intentions”; Improbable Worlds, an Anthology of Texas and Louisiana Poets, edited by Martha Sherpas (Houston: ...

Preacher’s Daughter

In Gratitude for a Southern Baptist Upbringing

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pp. 3-4

“Louie’s: Home of the Veggie Omelet”

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pp. 5-6

Eva/Ave at the National Gallery

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pp. 7-8

In Which I Forgive My Mother Her Intentions

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pp. 9-10

Preacher’s Daughter

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pp. 11-14

Contralto Recitative with Angel Chorus

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pp. 15-16

The Holy Ghost Develops Binge/Purge Syndrome

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pp. 17-32

The Holy Ghost Attends Vacation Bible School

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pp. 18-33

The Holy Ghost Tries Out for Little League

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pp. 19-34

The Holy Ghost Moves to Kilgore

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pp. 20-35

Church Schism: Every Body’s Got to Be Some Place

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pp. 21-36

Four-Year-Old Invents a New Curse Word

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pp. 22-23

The Holy Ghost Designs the Perfect Woman

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pp. 24-25

Why the Groundhog Fears Her Shadow

Changing Weather Patterns

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pp. 29-44

Shining

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pp. 30-31

The Center Cannot

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pp. 32-33

She Begins with the Sky

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pp. 34-49

The Child Born

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pp. 35-50

The Dream Runs On

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pp. 36-37

Color of the Moon

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pp. 38-53

The Heads of Old Dolls

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pp. 39-54

Groundhog’s Prayer of Petition

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pp. 40-55

Why the Groundhog Fears Her Shadow

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pp. 41-42

How Two Became One Again: Sestinas’ Work Done

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pp. 43-44

Winter’s End

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pp. 45-60

Staying at the Willard

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pp. 46-48

Parish Courthouse, Cameron

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pp. 49-64

Woman in the Middle

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pp. 50-65

The Castle of Either/Or: a fairy tale

The Castle of Either/Or

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pp. 53-58

Daughter’s Fealty

Continental Divide

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pp. 61-62

Steam Calliope

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pp. 63-67

Bass Fishing with a Hulapopper

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pp. 68-74

Roundball

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pp. 75-79

“My Father Will Have Two Dozen on the Halfshell”

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pp. 80-95

Notes

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pp. 81-82


E-ISBN-13: 9780807153383
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807153376

Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2013

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