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Know Thyself
Joyce Peseroff



Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon
2015 • 88 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-603-6



“These poems are local and universal, intimate accounts of landscape and people—with an almost pervasive shadow of elegy. . . . Always loss is mixed with joy... [continued in Reviews below]”—Donald Hall, Ploughshares

New poetry

Joyce Peseroff’s new collection teases the nature of self-knowledge from a world where identity is fluid, character fragmented, landscape overwhelmed, and culture riven. In poems that dramatize politics, eros, myth, and mortality, Peseroff’s edgy wit cuts through the classical Greek definition—“You’re not an animal/or a god, take the middle path”—to parse our century’s slippery dialectics. Playful and complex, Know Thyself distills music from the salt of human experience.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“These poems are local and universal, intimate accounts of landscape and people—with an almost pervasive shadow of elegy. . . . Always loss is mixed with joy, especially in the natural world—no joy without loss, no loss without joy. Her language is dense as she loads every rift, and her demotic speech carries weight by its close packing. As with many good poets, she has an accurate ear and eye for the end of a poem. She never explains what she has just done, but finishes the poem with a leap that persuasively unites her themes, reconciling the unreconcilable. She brings up together with down as the human psyche does—and as poetry must do to be true and beautiful together.”—Donald Hall, Ploughshares

“Ironic commentary on human interventions is one of Peseroff’s strengths. She is interested in what endures—and why.”—Robin Becker, Prairie Schooner

From the Book:

“Ft. Myers Flight”

Most of me bored when boarding a plane
admits that one can find revelation in a dentist's chair
as well as a wildflower meadow.
Still the urge to fly into a beaker
of warm South compels me to walk the plank
of a jetway with so many wanded,
carrying on. Our names will be linked
only in mishap but chatting as we stall
between terminal and plane we agree
to trust what we don't understand

flight, love, the way bodies quicken
when fastening a seatbelt or shoving
a briefcase into the overhead. Pass me the Terra
Blues offered to strangers who became lovers
and beloveds turning old and strange.



JOYCE PESEROFF is the author of five books of poems and editor of three additional collections. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is distinguished lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:47:33 -0500