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American Spikenard

Sarah Vap

Publication Year: 2007

2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner

“If everyone decided to call themselves a girl / that word would stop.” In this award-winning volume of authoritative and assertive poems, Sarah Vap embarks on an emotional journey to the land of America’s female children. Questioning, contradicting, radically and restlessly demanding acceptance, she searches for a way to move from serious girlhood to womanly love. Demonstrating the seriousness of female childhood—which is as dangerous and profound as war, economics, and history, that is, as manhood, in her view—Vap reveals the extremes of self-doubt and self-righteousness inherent in being a contemporary American girl.
“When we’re overcome / by everything we think we love—then by morning / we’re adults.” Just as the oil of American spikenard may provide relief from childhood, so does Sarah Vap provide the kind of holy and extravagant love and honor that can relieve the growing pains of “everyone’s little girl.”

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Contents

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pp. viii-ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-

With deep gratitude for my teachers Norman Dubie, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Jeannine Savard, and Cynthia Hogue, for their help with these poems. Thank you to Arizona State University’s creative writing program and to Karla Elling, for giving me the time and the support needed to write this book...

Testify

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pp. 3-

Second Daughter

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pp. 4-

Stallions eat flowers

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pp. 5-

Winter Necromancer

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pp. 6-

Star Light

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pp. 7-

Teaching you

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pp. 8-

brothers, sisters –

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pp. 9-

Sauna Morning

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pp. 10-

What position you’re in if you’re looking at the sole of a heel.

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pp. 11-

Being a Great Believer in Cooling

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pp. 12-

What I remember of it now.

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pp. 13-

Urging caution, and suchlike

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pp. 17-

Kunsthistorisches Museum

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pp. 18-

Little Clouds on Teeth

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pp. 19-

Little girls and horses

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pp. 20-

Blue-Eyed Horse

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pp. 21-

Teacup

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pp. 22-23

The disappearing movement

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pp. 24-

Just look:

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pp. 25-

A platform

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pp. 26-

Something of an award

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pp. 27-

Take them in and throw them back up.

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pp. 31-

Please come

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pp. 32-

A riddle for my birthday

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pp. 33-

I am surprised, that means

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pp. 34-

Mexican Blanket

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pp. 35-

Ease

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pp. 36-

Breastfeeding across America

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pp. 37-

Tweeting the Midnight Line

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pp. 38-

The Emergency Chair

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pp. 39-

For Romell, the boy with the hair between his teeth

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pp. 40-

Cold red tiles. Red-hot bath.

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pp. 43-

Horses Remember How

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pp. 44-

Heartbreakingly small when you sleep

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pp. 45-

No one knows the honest end or beginning

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pp. 46-

I can barely lift you

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pp. 47-

The Pink House

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pp. 48-

Push-off Sideways

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pp. 49-

The Path of Birds

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pp. 50-

A Window the Size of a Granny’s Forehead

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pp. 51-52

How secret and good you are –

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pp. 53-

Men from the women

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pp. 54-

Originally, the earth was loving-water

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pp. 55-

Iris enjoys the secret

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pp. 56-

Are you expressing a desire to know me?

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pp. 59-62

Lesson Plan

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pp. 63-

Oh come on now.

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pp. 64-

Pressure-Ridges

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pp. 65-

Chakra

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pp. 66-

You help your cat “ face its fear”

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pp. 67-

Festivals

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pp. 68-

Speech of my lost twin

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pp. 71-

Tiger, my Birthday

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pp. 72-73

The Love Story of Monkey and Bear: Aerial Map

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pp. 74-

My attention

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pp. 75-

Mark Time

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pp. 76-

Night Bath, Sagittarius

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pp. 77-

The Cow Can’t Fear Something Eternal

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pp. 78-

The Silting-Up

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pp. 79-


E-ISBN-13: 9781587297724
E-ISBN-10: 1587297728
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587295355
Print-ISBN-10: 1587295350

Page Count: 94
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: pb
Series Title: Iowa Poetry Prize

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