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Many-Storied House

Poems

George Ella Lyon

Publication Year: 2013

Born in the small, eastern Kentucky coal-mining town of Harlan, George Ella Lyon began her career with Mountain, a chapbook of poems. She has since published many more books in multiple genres and for readers of all ages, but poetry remains at the heart of her work. Many-Storied House is her fifth collection.

While teaching aspiring writers, Lyon asked her students to write a poem based on memories rooted in a house where they had lived. Working on the assignment herself, Lyon began a personal journey, writing many poems for each room. In this intimate book, she strives to answer lingering questions about herself and her family: "Here I stand, at the beginning," she writes in the opening lines of the volume, "with more questions than / answers."

Collectively, the poems tell the sixty-eight-year-long story of the house, beginning with its construction by Lyon's grandfather and culminating with the poet's memories of bidding farewell to it after her mother's death. Moving, provocative, and heartfelt, Lyon's poetic excavations evoke more than just stock and stone; they explore the nature of memory and relationships, as well as the innermost architecture of love, family, and community. A poignant memoir in poems, Many-Storied House is a personal and revealing addition to George Ella Lyon's body of work.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Front Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5

Epigraph, Contents

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pp. v-x

Provenance

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pp. 3-4

Part 1. Downstairs

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pp. 5-6

Door

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pp. 7-18

Bathroom

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pp. 8-9

Closet

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pp. 10-21

Passage

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pp. 11-22

That Chair

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pp. 12-13

Art

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pp. 14-25

Visitor

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pp. 15-26

Money Laundering

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pp. 16-17

Oh, My

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pp. 18-29

Ritual

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pp. 19-30

Collector's Item

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pp. 20-31

Phone

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pp. 21-32

August 4, 1944

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pp. 22-33

Reveille

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pp. 23-34

Blood and Water

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pp. 24-35

The Radio

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pp. 25-36

Legacy

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pp. 26-37

Junk Drawer

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pp. 27-38

Vision

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pp. 28-39

Over Coffee

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pp. 29-40

Daddy's Last Christmas

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pp. 30-41

Kitchen Table

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pp. 31-42

What Won't Burn

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pp. 32-43

Bucket Brigade

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pp. 33-34

The Ham

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pp. 35-46

New Room

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pp. 36-38

Part 2. Flood

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pp. 39-40

It Got Us This Time

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pp. 41-42

No Light

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pp. 43-54

Worst Flood in Harlan County History

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pp. 44-45

Interim

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pp. 46-57

Threshold

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pp. 47-48

Part 3. Upstairs

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pp. 49-50

Landing

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pp. 51-62

On Those Shelves

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pp. 52-63

Interior Design

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pp. 53-54

Portrait

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pp. 55-66

Smithereens

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pp. 56-57

Memory Book

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pp. 58-59

It Was a Year

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pp. 60-71

This Is

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pp. 61-72

Shit

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pp. 62-73

[Untitled]

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pp. 63-74

By the Laundry Hamper

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pp. 64-65

Linen Closet

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pp. 66-77

Toy Chest

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pp. 67-78

Hiding

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pp. 68-79

Doll Mother

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pp. 69-80

Night of the Mysteries

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pp. 70-72

Off Limits

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pp. 73-84

How It Smelled

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pp. 74-85

Sleepless

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pp. 75-76

Arthritis, 1952

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pp. 77-88

The Photo of Granny Buby

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pp. 78-79

November 21, 1963

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pp. 80-91

Half

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pp. 81-92

With a Song in His Heart

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pp. 82-83

Sanctus

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pp. 84-85

Company

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pp. 86-87

Cliff

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pp. 88-90

Part 4. Yard

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pp. 91-92

D-Day

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pp. 93-94

Westward Ho

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pp. 95-106

At Play

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pp. 96-107

Part 5. All of It

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pp. 97-98

Postgraduate Work

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pp. 99-110

It Doesn't Matter

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pp. 100-111

In the ER

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pp. 101-102

On Her Side

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pp. 103-104

Final Play

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pp. 105-116

Labor

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pp. 106-117

Every Cupboard Bare, Every Head Bowed

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pp. 107-108

Thanksgiving Night

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pp. 109-120

The Day After

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pp. 110-111

I Can't Believe

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pp. 112-113

Welcome

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pp. 114-125

Dedication

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pp. 115-116

read more

Acknowledgments

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pp. 117-118

My thanks to Robert Easley for allowing a photo of his painting to be used on page 2; to Ken Davis at Staples; and to Ashley Runyon, Iris Law, Deborah Golden, and everyone at the University Press of Kentucky for believing in this book and working to make it happen. ...

Index of First Lines

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pp. 119-121

Series page

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pp. 133-135


E-ISBN-13: 9780813142777
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813142616

Page Count: 136
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Kentucky Voices

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