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How We Spent Our Time

By Vern Rutsala

Publication Year: 2006

Nearly every poem in How We Spent Our Time flies at its mast a title in the form of a gerund or gerund phrase, that humble verbal noun. The book's table of contents, therefore, reads like an equally humble enumeration of the ways a human lifetime can be paid out, so to speak: looking, getting, owning, learning. We all do them all. And yet there is exceptional artistry in the testimonials these doings make witness to. The arrangement of the poems within the text is part of it. Note how "keeping" immediately precedes "spending," in the poems "Keeping It Together" and "Spending the Night"; these poems are conversational but endlessly skilful in the ways they keep the language vivid and fresh and surprising. How We Spent Our Time is flush with pangs and satisfactions, abundant with wisdom and delight.

Published by: The University of Akron Press

TItle page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Departing, Arriving . . .

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pp. 3-4

Looking for Work

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pp. 5-6

Getting and Spending

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pp. 7-8

Letting Things Slide

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pp. 9-10

Dreaming of Journeys

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pp. 11-12

Becoming American

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pp. 13-15

Going to England

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pp. 16-17

Taking Pictures

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pp. 18-

Writing to the Past

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pp. 19-

Talking to Strangers

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pp. 20-21

Living Somewhere Else

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pp. 22-23

Sleeping for a Year

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pp. 24-25

Making a Living

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pp. 26-28

Owning Things

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pp. 29-30

Making Lists

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pp. 31-33

Taking Shelter

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pp. 34-35

Coming Home

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pp. 36-37

Learning Your Lesson

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pp. 38-

Reclaiming the House

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pp. 39-40

Driving North

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pp. 41-42

Keeping It Together

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pp. 43-44

Spending the Night

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pp. 45-51

Learning to Draw

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pp. 52-53

Killing Time

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pp. 54-55

Calling Up the Pain

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pp. 56-57

Taking the Old Road

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pp. 58-59

Moon Driving

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pp. 60-61

Disappearing

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pp. 62-

Remaking Yourself

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pp. 63-

Missing It

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pp. 64-65

Killing Flies in Georgia

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pp. 66-72

Listening to a Russian Choir

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pp. 73-76

Getting Out of the Army

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pp. 77-78

Camping with Ecclesiastes

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pp. 79-81

Travelling One Way

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pp. 82-84

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About the Author

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A native of the Pacific Northwest, Vern Rutsala received his B.A. from Reed College and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He is the author of numerous poetry books. His previous book, The Moment’s Equation,was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry ...


E-ISBN-13: 9781935603887
E-ISBN-10: 1935603884
Print-ISBN-13: 9781931968287
Print-ISBN-10: 1931968284

Page Count: 72
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: Akron Series in Poetry
Series Editor Byline: Elton Glaser, Editor