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In a Beautiful Country
Kevin Prufer




Four Way
2011 • 120 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-935536-11-6



By peppering traditional and formal verse throughout--rhymed sonnets, artes poeticae, love poems, an elegy--Prufer attempts to locate a form and a place for... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

These elegiac poems trace the toll war takes on America while hoping for the future

In a Beautiful Country examines America’s suburbs and exurbs where “The thrown newspaper fails / to reach the steps.” Taking place beside hospital beds and amid outlet malls, within earshot of military bases and in the light of horror movies, these poems mourn the loss of parents, friends, and our sense of our nation. Turning to ballad-like rhythms, Prufer critiques romanticized visions of art while asserting its central role in citizenship and empire.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“By peppering traditional and formal verse throughout--rhymed sonnets, artes poeticae, love poems, an elegy--Prufer attempts to locate a form and a place for violence within the history of poetry, the effect of which is most moving when this violence is woven into a strand that is personal, political, and so close one feels one can touch it.”Publishers Weekly

From the Book:

In a Beautiful Country

A good way to fall in love
is to turn off the headlights
and drive very fast down dark roads.

Another way to fall in love
is to say they are only mints
and swallow them with a strong drink.

Then it is autumn in the body.
Your hands are cold.
Then it is winter and we are still at war.

The gold-haired girl is singing into your ear
about how we live in a beautiful country.
Snow sifts from the clouds

into your drink. It doesn’t matter about the war.
A good way to fall in love
is to close up the garage and turn the engine on,

then down you’ll fall through lovely mists
as a body might fall early one morning
from high window into love. Love,

the broken glass. Love, the scissors
and the water basin. A good way to fall
is with a rope to catch you.

A good way is with something to drink
to help you march forward.
The gold-haired girl says, Don’t worry

about the armies, says, We live in a time
full of love.
You’re thinking about this too much.
Slow down. Nothing bad will happen.



KEVIN PRUFER is the author of four poetry collections and editor-at-large of Pleiades. He teaches at the University of Houston.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:00:05 -0500