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Nude Descending an Empire

by Sam Taylor

Publication Year: 2014

“Nude Descending an Empire is a book that has large ambitions—and overwhelmingly succeeds at all of them. The voice here works at so many dimensions: spiritual, political, erotic, sensually worldly and quietly lyrical—and probably a dozen more! Few poets are able to write well in just one or two of these realms. That Taylor can do so much—he marries Frank O’Hara and Merwin, Whitman and Dante, your latest local radio report and science fiction!—is amazing in and of itself. And, then, when you sit down hard reading this book, his gift at incantatory syntax takes this amazement to a wholly different level—you stand up, you read these poems aloud. I love the many lives of this book: how he curses and praises and sexes in the same poem. Sam Taylor is a poet to reckon with, a poet to live with, a poet to marvel at. This is a wonderful book.” —Ilya Kaminsky

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

From My Last Life as Rain

The Book of Endings

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pp. 3-4

Grand Opening

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p. 5-5

Jataka Tales

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p. 6-6

Song: Infernal

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pp. 8-9

City of Lies

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p. 10-10

Optical Illusion

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pp. 11-12

Past Tense

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pp. 13-14

History

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pp. 15-16

De Terre

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pp. 17-20

I Am Addicted to Being a Man

The Book of Poetry

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pp. 23-25

Suits of Men

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pp. 26-27

Celebration in Autumn

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pp. 28-29

The Book of Wishes

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p. 30-30

Madagascar

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pp. 31-32

Slugs Mating

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p. 33-33

The Book of Autumn

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pp. 34-35

Figure, with Multitude

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pp. 36-37

In My Solitude

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pp. 38-40

American Mystic

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pp. 41-42

The Book of Things

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p. 43-43

The Book of Revelation

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p. 44-44

Welcome to My Native Land

Snowed-In, Little Mountain Valley

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p. 47-47

Douglas Fir

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pp. 48-53

Paper

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p. 54-54

Testimony

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pp. 55-56

Salamandrine

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pp. 57-58

The Book of Echoes

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p. 59-59

The Last Sun Dance

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p. 60-60

Bittersweet

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pp. 61-62

Blue Heron

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pp. 63-68

I, America

#DeadFacebookFriends

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p. 71-71

Dear Customer

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pp. 72-73

Confession

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pp. 74-76

Poem

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p. 77-77

The Book of Winter

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p. 78-78

America: An Autobiography

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pp. 79-80

Propositions (Affairs of the State)

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p. 81-81

While We Wait

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p. 82-82

Goodnight Moon

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pp. 83-85

Home

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pp. 86-87

The Book of Spring

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pp. 88-90

Notes

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pp. 91-92

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 93-94

I would like to thank the editors of the following publications in which many of these poems first appeared: AGNI: “Madagascar”; AGNI Online: “Jataka Tales”; Asheville Poetry Review: “Douglas Fir”; Beloit Poetry Journal: “Suits of Men” and “History”; Cincinnati Review: “Home”; Confrontation: “Goodnight Moon” and “The Book of Echoes”; Crab Orchard Review: “Slugs Mating”; Diode: “American...

Back Cover

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p. 95-95


E-ISBN-13: 9780822980292
E-ISBN-10: 0822980290
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822963042
Print-ISBN-10: 0822963043

Page Count: 80
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Pitt Poetry Series
Series Editor Byline: Ed Ochester