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What Kind
Martha Zweig

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2003 • 104 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6626-3

“What do you get when you cross Flannery O’Connor with Gerard Manley Hopkins? Something sprung of rhythm, fierce of feeling, dappled down and doubled over, whistled out of terror and intelligence. Welcome to the work of Martha Zweig.”Heather McHugh, The Boston Review

When the human family frightens us, we try to join the animals.

Drawing on fairy tales and imbued with an almost antique diction, What Kind uses wit and word play to approach the thorn-ridden thicket of family, memory, sex and belonging. Many of the poems seem to speak uncannily from a child’s perspective—a child seeking solace in relationships with animals and other creatures both real and imaginary. Many poets concern themselves with country matters and mortal mechanisms, but Martha Zweig alone hatches them out of language itself. She is an exquisite analyst of colloquialism, and the syntactical precisions at work within her old New England parlances are uncommonly refined. This book follows Zweig’s brilliant debut collection Vinegar Bone, hailed by Publisher's Weekly as a "unique blend of scary folktale imagery, American plain speech and a planed-down formalism."

Reviews / Endorsements

“An American Original: out of our adult vocabulary of 30,000 words, this poet has cobbled together a new language. Spoken by rain, staircase newels, the dear dead, it clarifies just enough to startle our way of apprehending the world…” —Steve Orlen, author of This Particular Eternity

“Martha Zweig writes a marvelous sort of Nonsense—poetry that moves wherever you wish it and wherever it wishes to move you. The lines are animate. The metaphors have a temper. I can think of no other poet who writes with more willingness to let truths stand and fall down on their own. And so the poems in What Kind are very wise, and they are beautifully made.”Carol Frost, author of Love and Scorn

From the Book:

The snow lost its bearings:
everything it
touched it slipped
& fell from.

High overhead in the tall street light
I picked a flake, but I missed it on its
way down.

It missed the street.
It missed the earth.

Another time, lost soul.

—from "Dark Swirl"

MARTHA ZWEIG has published two collections of poetry, Powers (1976) and Vinegar Bone (Wesleyan, 1999), for which she received the Whiting Writer’s Award. She lives in Hardwick, Vermont.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:29 -0500