- Title: Mule
- Author: Shane McCrae
- ISBN: 9781880834930
- Page: 391
- Format: Paperback
Poetry African American Studies MULE is highly lyrical, obsessively incantatory, audaciously formal, and actually a very personal, very autobiographical book In it, the author addresses his at the time failing second marriage which he is no longer in , his son s autism, his own racial identity, and some of his beliefs about God Some books come down like gods dying toPoetry African American Studies MULE is highly lyrical, obsessively incantatory, audaciously formal, and actually a very personal, very autobiographical book In it, the author addresses his at the time failing second marriage which he is no longer in , his son s autism, his own racial identity, and some of his beliefs about God Some books come down like gods dying to transform us out of our empty, shattered lives MULE is such a book Never shying away from sudden confusions of pain and beauty, Shane McCrae s questions are not why so much pain why so much beauty but, instead, how can they remake us McCrae s is a living, breathing poetry made of wisdom and wrenching song Katie Ford.
Recent Comments "Mule"
I came across a poem from this collection ("Continuing") online, and it made me cry, and then for weeks afterward I kept thinking of it and kind of tearing up, so I figured I better read the whole book. Not every single piece resonated for me quite so much, but overall McCrae's sort of weird rhythmic gut-punch style really really worked for me, even when he was talking about things with which I have absolutely no familiarity.
Shane McCrae, Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010)I cut my poetic teeth, back in high school, on the dadas and the surrealists, thanks to Michael Benedikt's anthology The Poetry of Surrealism (a text that desperately needs to come back into print; to this day some of the translations in there, especially the late Michael Hamburger's, are my favorites of the poems in question). As a result, I've generally been less impressed with the whole autobiographical/confessional school of [...]
the Big Project of the book (going from interrupted formal poesy to more regular poesy as the guy gets his life back together) is impressively rendered, although a little over-obvious. formally some of the techniques were interesting e.g. the dueling breakages in a lot of the earlier poems.i would've liked some more of the more implicit themes (sterility via the mule/mulatto metaphor, the body as a prison, monstrosity etc.) to have been explored a little more."punishes the body with the body" (6 [...]
I think this book came up on Carol Guess' blog. Since I really enjoy her style, I bought it on faith.What a nice surprise.It reads a little like an echo, both the way it is written:As we divorced Nicolas rodeInternal horses /And watching himfrom the bench at the edge of the park/In wildflowershim in wildflowers him in fileds/Of wildflowers him in fields on playgrounds whichBlossom from the groundMust be covered over with foram with barkIt was and was possibleTo love him just enough to sit there [...]
A very strange narrative woven through poems. Is identity the thing we see ourselves, and constantly remember ourselves being through others? The use of repetition, and line structure are as unique as the thoughts in the poem. I very fun, entertaining, thought provoking read, about what makes us. How is the memory we see ourselves different the person we find in the present. The person we find through the eyes of others.
This is one of those poetry books that takes a little getting used to, but once you hit the groove the poet is creating, you're in deep. McCrae covers so much ground and his formal craft practices are so striking and assist so well with the larger thematics he's working with. This is a beautiful collection.
I have never read a book quite like this. The language is incantatory; the lines feel cut-open. The book covers race, Texas childhood, a child’s autism, failed marriage, family history, and yet it all occurs as if in prayer: the language transcends the subject. The lines stutter, breathe, and sing.
Scattered, big gaps and slashes mid-line, imitating line breaks, with repeating words and phrases that make the poems fragmented. Emerges through images instead of clear sentences, meaning is never clear on a line for line basis. Seven sections, generally about his divorce, his marriage, his autistic son, his mixed race, his mother and grandmother, and his views on god.
I'm abstaining from a star rating at the moment because I'm not quite sure what to do with this. Avant Garde is challenging. I can tell this is solid, carefully crafted poetry; I just don't quite have the necessary poetry-reading skills yet to know how to approach it,
Stellar book! An utterly unique voice in contemporary poetry. McCrae's use of repetition and syntax is masterful. One of the best books I've read this year so far.
Here is a link to my review of "Mule": jchariscarlson/20
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