Stay, Illusion: Poems (Hardcover)

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“We have to come to terms with our Self / Like a marmoset getting out of her Great Ape suit.” So begins Lucie Brock-Broido's National Book Award nominated collection, Stay, Illusion. Devastatingly elliptical and emotionally intuitive, Brock-Briodo manages to sift through the supposed moral ambiguity of today's political theater to guide the reader into a form of jarring self-embrace where the whimsical and the sinister are inextricably intertwined, deconstructed, and recalculated in search of the true cost of sublimity where, “Wisdom is ruin. / Dispatch in white chalk left out in the summer rain.” Brock-Broido's prophetic animal rights activism sits well besides examinations like that of executed Crips gang leader Tookie Williams, and her poetic investigation of the human spirit forces an odd hand on our ambiguous relationship with ambiguity itself, questioning all along what lines must be drawn and what is my role in this? Although answers may seem difficult to come by in Brock-Broido's particular way of writing, poems like “You Have Harnessed Yourself Ridiculously To This World,” give plenty of clues as to what thoughts illuminate her ethical mission, “I am obliged, now, to refrain from dying, for as long as it is possible. / For whom left am I first?” It is this incredible foresight that pushes Stay, Illusion to its concrete praxis and give bearing to its interpretation. -Evan's August Staff Pick, 2014

— From Evan's Picks


National Book Award Finalist
"Stay, Illusion," the much-anticipated volume of poems by Lucie Brock-Broido, illuminates the broken but beautiful world she inhabits. Her poems are lit with magic and stark with truth: whether they speak from the imagined dwelling of her Abandonarium, or from habitats where animals are farmed and harmed humanely, or even from the surreal confines of death row, they find a voice like no other dazzling, intimate, startling, heartbreaking.
Eddying between the theater of the lavish and the enigmatic, between the gaudy and the unadorned, Brock-Broido's verse scours America for material to render unflinchingly the here and now. Grandeur devolves into a comic irony: We have come to terms with our Self / Like a marmoset getting out of her Great Ape suit. She dares the unexplained: The wings were left ajar / At the altar where I ve knelt all night, trembling, leaning, rough / As sugar raw, and sweet. Each poem is a rebellious chain of words: Be good, they said, and so too I was / Good until I was not. Strange narratives, interior and exterior, make a world that is foreign and yet our own; like Dickinson, Brock-Broido constructs a spider-sibling, commanding the silk spool of the recluse as she confects her eventual mythomania. And why create the web? Because: If it is written down, you can t rescind it.

About the Author

LUCIE BROCK-BROIDO is the author of three previous collections of poetry, "A Hunger," "The Master Letters," and"Trouble in Mind." She is Director of Poetry in the School of the Arts at Columbia University and has been the recipient of awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in New York City and in Cambridge, Massachusetts."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307962027
ISBN-10: 0307962024
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 15th, 2013
Pages: 112
Language: English