Read Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts by Jorie Graham Online


"How I would like to catch the world / at pure idea," writes Jorie Graham, for whom a bird may be an alphabet, and flight an arc. Whatever the occasion--and her work offers a rich profusion of them--the poems reach to where possession is not within us, where new names are needed and meaning enlarged. Hence, what she sees reminds her of what is missing, and what she knows s"How I would like to catch the world / at pure idea," writes Jorie Graham, for whom a bird may be an alphabet, and flight an arc. Whatever the occasion--and her work offers a rich profusion of them--the poems reach to where possession is not within us, where new names are needed and meaning enlarged. Hence, what she sees reminds her of what is missing, and what she knows suggests what she cannot. From any event, she arcs bravely into the farthest reaches of mind. Fast readers will have trouble, but so what. To the good reader afraid of complexity, I would offer the clear trust that must bond us to such signal poems as (simply to cite three appearing in a row) "Mother's Sewing Box," "For My Father Looking for My Uncle," and "The Chicory Comes Out Late August in Umbria." Finally, the poet's words again: ." . . you get / just what you want" and (just before that), "Just as / from time to time / we need to seize again / the whole language / in search of / better desires."--Marvin Bell...

Title : Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780691013350
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 69 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts Reviews

  • Nikki
    2019-06-17 05:47

    A somewhat random choice from Blloon’s catalogue. Some of this poetry is lovely — some just didn’t make an impression on me, but there are some gorgeous images, ways of tilting the world askew and looking at it anew, haunting ones…I think unfortunately my overall reaction is of ambivalence, but things stick in my head — “The starlings keep trying / to thread the eyes / of steeples.” And looking at other reviews, it sounds like this was a first collection, and that perhaps I should’ve come across Jorie Graham before. I might look for more of her work, mostly for the language rather than the content.Originally posted here.

  • Lou Last
    2019-06-13 04:36

    But he who is wisest among you, he also is only a discord and hybrid of plant and of ghost.—Nietzsche, Thus Spoke ZarathustraNETTING My father would have saved us, had the occasion of fire arisen.Sundays, each at our post,we practiced—his fine network of hoses lacing into perfectwebs. So much water,and each of us a knot we felt so safe in manning.I never really understood the underpinnings, miraculous nationbeneath the smooth lawn—a private patriotism.Nothing again was ever as dangerous, as vulnerable. I know of fatherless than I imagine, but in the endall that we can know of anyoneis what we promised them. I know, therefore,that fire is something we can catch, unwittingly, like cold,and that these tiny roadswoven round and round our property like a spare set of roots,is what we really are—a shadow map, a future kept alive bymet commitments.And at those junctions, the world seems as private as public,a well-kept secretkept by all. Just as, deep in a cave, life can surviveonly because of forms of life outside that will persistin entering. So…water to save us, andprofound curiosity—casting and trawling and building a surfaceable to truly hold us,like gossip, or the smell of lilacs, or an overheard song: sooneveryone has caught it.The GeeseToday as I hang out the wash I see them again, a code as urgent as elegant, tapering with goals. For days they have been crossing. We live beneath these geese as if beneath the passage of time, or a most perfect heading. Sometimes I fear their relevance. Closest at hand, between the lines, the spiders imitate the paths the geese won't stray from, imitate them endlessly to no avail: things will not remain connected, will not heal, and the world thickens with texture instead of history, texture instead of place. Yet the small fear of the spiders binds and binds the pins to the lines, the lines to the eaves, to the pincushion bush, as if, at any time, things could fall further apart and nothing could help them recover their meaning. And if these spiders had their way, chainlink over the visible world, would we be in or out? I turn to go back in. There is a feeling the body gives the mind of having missed something, a bedrock poverty, like falling without the sense that you are passing through one world, that you could reach another anytime. Instead the real is crossing you, your body an arrival you know is false but can't outrun. And somewhere in between these geese forever entering and these spiders turning back, this astonishing delay, the everyday, takes place. Tennessee JuneThis is the heat that seeks the flaw in everything and loves the flaw. Nothing is heavier than its spirit, nothing more landlocked than the body within it. Its daylilies grow overnight, our lawns bare, then falsely gay, then bare again. Imagine your mind wandering without its logic, your body the sides of a riverbed giving in ... In it, no world can survive having more than its neighbors; in it, the pressure to become forever less is the pressure to take forevermore to get there. Oh let it touch you ... The porch is sharply lit---little box of the body--- and the hammock swings out easily over its edge. Beyond, the hot ferns bed, and fireflies gauze the fat tobacco slums, the crickets boring holes into the heat the crickets fill. Rock out into that dark and back to where the blind moths circle, circle, back and forth from the bone-white house to the creepers unbraiding. Nothing will catch you. Nothing will let you go. We call it blossoming--- the spirit breaks from you and you remain. *

  • Leanna
    2019-06-10 00:42

    I have embarked on a quest to read all of Jorie Graham's books over the next few months. I've read bits and pieces of her here and there and I've been taken by her confidence and urgency. "Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts" is her first book, published when she was 29. I found Graham's voice to have that truth-telling urgency that I had enjoyed in other poems. I guess she has had that voice of one who wants to dispense wisdom since she was pretty young. I was also really taken by many of Graham's nature images. She has some razor-sharp metaphors and conceits--nothing too fussy or intricate, just straighforward, original parallels between flowers, plants, animals, and other concepts and behahviors. I've studied Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery recently, and I hear that Graham is grouped with them, as a "poet of the mind." And there are some of those metaphysical introspections about consciousness, but I found Graham's versions more palatable and resonant. I would say the only thing that I was turned off by in this book is that every now and then, the voice could sound too self-important in the book's task (as I define it) of explaining the world. Favorite poems and phrases:"Whore's Bath"-- gorgeous, startling image of a woman putting her face into her bathwater: "Oh when will the whole become a permanent mirage? / Kneeling, I / can go abroad into my face, making both--the real and its proof-- / disappear. What a fabric!""Cross-Stitch"--a poem about a cricket that's wandered into a house! She ends with, "...This cricket, for instance, finding the way / from there to here, / and finding the way to lose it." This is what I mean by Graham's ability to "truth-tell"--who would have thought about the weirdness that is a cricket who knows how to get lost inside a house, but doesn't know how to get out? I love how Graham makes me look at the cricket in a new way, but in a way that seems right."Strangers"--great first few lines: "Indeed the tulips / change tense / too quickly." Another beautiful section: "The starlings keep trying / to thread the eyes / of steeples." And some of her "trademark" empathy and declaration of how things are: "It's hard, you can't / cross over...""Mother's Sewing Box"--so much in this poem gave me shivers! An opening line that I bet Louise Gluck learned from: "In an old cookie tin, because / things last longer / in the dark." Fantastic image: "On the string / the knots are birds that sit, / that cannot leave." This was one of the few poems in the book overtly about a relationship and it was well done."The Geese"--this and the above were perhaps my favorite in the book. A few lines: "...We live beneath these geese / / as if beneath the passage of time, or a most perfect heading." She also describes passing spiders as "chainlink over the visible world." That is so what they look like. And what a metaphor. "Mimicry"--I really just like the first few lines. Are they supposed to be funny? If so, perhaps the only humorous moment in the book: "The other woman, / how I envy her,/ a sort of Canada / to this confusion." Heh."Still Life"--I just liked the description of a squirrel jumping between trees: "small leaps like stitches / until their separation is // firmly repaired." Don't squirrel jumps look like stitches? And isn't it a cool idea, to think of them weaving together trees? I'm such a sucker for a mind-blowing image.All in all, quite enjoyable. Louise Gluck's "The Wild Iris" came later, and is pretty different in tone and structure, but still, I wonder if she had a gander at this. Although I suppose that writing about flowers and animals is pretty stereotypically poetic!

  • Ie
    2019-05-27 00:36

    My first of Jorie Graham, which is sensible if one plans to follow her creative arc, and now I do. The first three sections are just damn exquisite. I am fairly new to American contemporary poetry, and haven't read anyone quite like her, so awe. I am reminded of Wild Iris, but only because of the flora. I especially like how she wildly moves from one poetic level to the next, or how she pieces them together—I constantly find a great sense of abandon in her leaps, of audacity in her scaffolding. I want to mimic her if I can.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-15 05:53

    The most accessible Jorie Graham I've read. A few of the poems are perfect -- so impressive in a first book (at least, I think it's a first book?!).

  • Dinah
    2019-06-25 05:52

    How Jorie Graham emerged from the poet hive fully formed is totally mystifying, as is this poetry. The search for pronoun refferents nearly drove me to distraction, but once I gave myself over to the slippage I found the read haunting, philosophically suggestive in surprising ways, and really quite moving.

  • Eleanor
    2019-06-17 05:58

    A first glimpse at the full first book... interesting to read with later work in mind... such transformation of style, and such a freeing that happened, and which, I think, without reading too much into it, a freeing that was happening or dormant but about to happen...

  • Jason
    2019-06-10 02:58

    I can't get enough of this book. I read it and read it and read it. I think about it and think some more and just when I think I've got it, I have to read the poem again. The arcs. She wants you to catch the ball, but I feel like I keep dropping it.

  • Kristin
    2019-06-08 23:45

    Much clearer than most of the other work I've read by Graham, I found this more moving than I expected, but it didn't completely change my opinion of her.

  • Tony
    2019-06-14 05:40

    Easily forgettable first book, if not for a couple of poems that contain echoes, or perhaps seeds, of her later work.

  • Carole
    2019-06-24 23:56

    Perhaps I'll write about this later.

  • Gregory Knapp
    2019-06-04 05:52

    Difficult, but worth it.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-09 01:45

    Truly exceptional! An astounding debut!

  • Lisa
    2019-06-10 06:58

    A great collection for avid poetry fans and newbies.