Figure studies: poems

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Louisiana State University Press,
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Poet Claudia Emerson begins Figure Studies with a twenty-five-poem lyric sequence called "All Girls School," offering intricate views of a richly imagined boarding school for girls. Whether focused on a lesson, a teacher, or the girls themselves as they collectively "school" -- or refuse to -- the poems explore ways girls are "trained" in the broadest sense of the word.

"Gossips," the second section, is a shorter sequence narrated by women as they talk about other women in a variety of isolations; these poems, told from the outside looking in, highlight a speculative voicing of all the gossips cannot know. In "Early Lessons," the third section, children narrate as they also observe similarly solitary women, the children's innocence allowing them to see in farther than the gossips can. The fourth section offers studies of women and men in situations in which gender, with all of its complexities, figures powerfully.

The follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Late Wife, Figure Studies upholds Emerson's place among contemporary poetry's elite.

The Mannequin above Main Street Motors

When the only ladies' dress shop closed, she was left on the street for trash, unsalvageable,

one arm missing, lost at the shoulder, one leg at the hip. But she was wearing a blue-sequined negligee

and blonde wig, so they helped themselves to her on a lark -- drunken impulse -- and for years kept her

leaning in a corner, beside an attic window, rendered invisible. The dusk

was also perpetual in the garage below,punctuated only by bare bulbs hung close

over the engines. An oily grime coated the walls, and a decade of calendars promoted

stock-car drivers, women in dated swimsuits, even their bodies out of fashion. Radio distorted

there; cigarette smoke moaned, the pedal steel conceding to that place a greater, echoing

sorrow. So, lame, forgotten prank, she remained,back turned forever to the dark storage

behind her, gaze leveled just above anyone's who could have looked up

to mistake in the cast of her face fresh longing -- her expression still reluctant figure for it.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c575ab17-9229-e28b-3e46-0ed676630db7
full_title figure studies
author emerson claudia
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:33AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Emerson, Claudia, 1957-
author_display Emerson, Claudia
available_at_arlington Aurora Hills, Central, Local History
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction, Center for Local History Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction, Center for Local History Nonfiction, Central Adult Nonfiction
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id c575ab17-9229-e28b-3e46-0ed676630db7
isbn 9780807133606, 9780807133613
item_details ils:.b13079669|.i13644592|Center for Local History Nonfiction|811 EMERS|||1|false|false|||||Library Use Only||van||, ils:.b13079669|.i13644609|Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction|811 EMERS|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|May 14, 2016|aan||, ils:.b13079669|.i18397402|Central Adult Nonfiction|811 EMERS|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Mar 21, 2016|can||
itype_arlington Hardback, Paperback
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 811 EMERS
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills, Central, Local History
primary_isbn 9780807133606
publishDate 2008
record_details ils:.b13079669|Book|Books||English|Louisiana State University Press,|c2008.|xi, 65 p. ; 23 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
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series Southern messenger poets
series_with_volume Southern messenger poets
subject_facet American poetry
title_display Figure studies : poems
title_full Figure studies : poems / Claudia Emerson
title_short Figure studies :
title_sub poems