Speak Low


Product Details

$15.00  $13.80
Farrar Strauss & Giroux-3pl
Publish Date
5.4 X 0.4 X 8.0 inches | 0.25 pounds
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About the Author

Carl Phillips is the author of nine previous books of poems, including Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006; Riding Westward; and The Rest of Love, a National Book Award finalist. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.


"Theme and style join perfectly in Speak Low . . . In poem after poem, the speaker turns to address questions of power. The style of the poems, as they frame and shape these questions, feels at once pliant and masterful . . . As in Rilke, Phillips' lines give his language a near-sculptural form, something like a fountain. The poems are structures of alternating firmness and give, as the sense spills from line to line." --Jenny Mueller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Singing the music of mythology, history and philosophy, [Phillips's] poems are delicately crafted to sound like common speech even though there is nothing pedestrian about them. Because of their dexterity, they are approachable without sacrificing their loftier aspirations." --Dionisio Martinez, The Miami Herald

"This 10th book from the prolific Phillips is a quiet yet wounded reflection on Phillips' signature subjects: relationships, distances, identity, and damage. Phillips' remarkable ability to be clear yet illusive, as well as his dizzying syntax, are ever- present as the poems coil into places of confusion: 'Oh, sometimes it is as if desire had been given form, and / acreage, and I'd been left for lost there. Amazement grips me, / I grip it back.' Rendering visceral moments with surprising leisure, 'like blood with a drawl to it, ' Phillips searches slowly but relentlessly for answers to unanswerable questions: 'who's to say what will not be useful?' . . . this collection is more evidence that Phillips is making good on his offer to 'show you what it looks like / when surrender, and an instinct not to, run side by side." --Publishers Weekly