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In The Blues of Heaven, Barbara Ras delivers her characteristic subjects with new daring that both rattles and beguiles. Here are poems of grief over her brother’s death; doors to an idiosyncratic working-class childhood among Polish immigrants; laments for nature and politics out of kilter. Ras portrays the climate crisis, guns out of control, the reckless injustice and ignorance of the United States government. At the same time, her poems nimbly focus on particulars—these facts, these consequences—bringing the wreckage of unfathomable harm home with immediacy and integrity. Though her subjects may be dire, Ras also weaves her wise humor throughout, moving deftly from sardonic to whimsical to create an expansive, ardent, and memorable book.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-2
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  1. I
  1. Salad Days
  2. p. 5
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  1. Take a Chance
  2. p. 6
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  1. Tuesday
  2. p. 7
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  1. Atonement
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Flags
  2. p. 10
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  1. Survival Strategies
  2. p. 11
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  1. Feathers
  2. p. 12
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  1. With a Small Flashlight
  2. p. 13
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  1. Balance
  2. p. 14
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  1. Waves
  2. p. 15
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  1. Even Birds Leave the World
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. I Want to Know
  2. p. 18
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  1. After Decades First Love Resembles Fruit
  2. p. 19
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  1. Dragonflies
  2. p. 20
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  1. The Day a Crucial Button Fell Off My Blouse
  2. p. 21
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  1. Herd
  2. pp. 22-24
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  1. II
  1. Stars
  2. p. 27
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  1. My Cloak of Not Knowing
  2. p. 28
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  1. Tethers
  2. p. 29
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  1. Swans
  2. p. 30
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  1. The Money Coat
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. Recipe for Sleep
  2. p. 33
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  1. Swimming
  2. p. 34
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  1. Brushes with Death
  2. p. 35
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  1. The Omnipresent Dark Curse
  2. pp. 36-37
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  1. Odds
  2. p. 38
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  1. Lizard Blues
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. Not a Jelly Bean
  2. p. 41
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  1. Castelluccio
  2. p. 42
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  1. Ranch Time
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. III
  1. Potatoes
  2. p. 47
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  1. Opportunity Costs
  2. p. 48
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  1. In the Last Storm I Tried to Write the History of Secrets
  2. p. 49
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  1. Slow Starting Rant
  2. p. 50
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  1. A Day in the Park
  2. p. 51
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  1. Honeymoons
  2. p. 52
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  1. Bugs Pray
  2. p. 53
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  1. Relics
  2. p. 54
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  1. L'Heure bleu
  2. p. 55
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  1. What Light Tastes Like
  2. p. 56
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  1. Debt
  2. p. 57
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  1. My Big Dream
  2. pp. 58-60
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  1. Sole
  2. p. 61
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  1. Even If
  2. p. 62
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  1. The Ancestral Spirit Chair Counsels Whoever Sits in It
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. My Daughter's Daughter
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 67-68
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 69-70
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780822988212
Related ISBN
9780822966548
MARC Record
OCLC
1247671130
Pages
70
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-28
Language
English
Open Access
No
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