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Deed

Rod Smith

Publication Year: 2007

A deed is a governmental conveyance, a power asserted by the written, for, as William Carlos Williams wrote to Robert Creeley: “the government can never be more than the government of the words.” The question of ownership, of the words with which we define ourselves and each other, and of whose and what claims are legitimate is much at issue in Rod Smith’s Deed, a lyric, ambitious, rebellious work thoroughly grounded in the New American tradition of poets such as John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, and Charles Olson.

At the entrance to this collection stands an abode in the form of a long poem, “The Good House,” a comfortable, at times soothingly humorous place that is also a site of conflict. In “The Spider Poems,” the mythic spider, the maker of the alphabet, is a ?gure of fun and revelation. The third section of the book presents a series of shorter poems chosen for their stylistic variety. Deed ends with a nod to two masters, as Smith turns Jack Spicer’s “Homage to Creeley” into a double homage with “Homage to Homage to Creeley.” The gesture of choosing what one brings into one’s house, what one decides to love, closes the book.

Deed is about making as bequeathing, as celebration, and as impatience for the true democracy that is always yet to arrive. There is still joy inside and out, and by giving us Deed Rod Smith has captured that joy. In so doing he tells us where we as a people, a politik, and a poetic are going.

Published by: University of Iowa Press

TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

The Good House

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pp. 1-40

The Spider Poems

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pp. 41-58

The Given

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pp. 58-60

Barnes & Chernobyl

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p. 61-61

Poem

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p. 62-62

1 ⁄43 ⁄97

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p. 63-63

The Given

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p. 64-64

Moist Feelings: A Love Poem

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p. 65-65

Identity Is the Cause of Warts

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p. 66-66

Ted’s Head

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p. 67-67

Specifically the Luminous

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p. 68-68

The Strength

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p. 69-69

Floorboard

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p. 70-70

Page One

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pp. 71-72

the love that is truly a refuge for all living beings

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pp. 73-74

The Narrative Quiescence

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pp. 75-76

XCVII (“she knows who she is”)

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pp. 77-79

Homage to Homage to Creeley

Poem for Stingers

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p. 83-83

Wrong Turnstile

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p. 84-84

Shadows Are Our Friend

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p. 85-85

The Life of a Dime

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p. 86-86

pour le CGT

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p. 87-87


E-ISBN-13: 9781587297632
E-ISBN-10: 1587297639
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587296192
Print-ISBN-10: 1587296195

Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Kuhl House Poets

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