Boy

Poems by Patrick Phillips

Reviews

"For me this is a real discovery. In many of the poems—‘Nathaniel’ or ‘Matinee’ or ‘Star Quilt’—the language is quiet and accurate, the details precise, and the emotions—though never insisted upon—are there, unquestionable and complex. The art here is in hiding the art, and he is that rare poet with the tact and chops to accomplish that. What a find!"
—Philip Levine, Ploughshares

"In sparse, deft, and elegant language, Phillips’s remarkable second book of poems, Boy, places the poet midway between the lives of his parents and the lives of his children, where 'the endless dream / of childhood' has given way to the reality that 'whole human beings / sprang from us.' From this vantage point, he celebrates the wonderful simultaneity of experience that allows him to be, all at once, father, son, man, and boy."
—Michael Collier, author of Dark Wild Realm


"There are poets of domestic life and there are poets of the sublime, and Patrick Phillips is both. What is fascinating and deeply original in this conjunction is how Phillips' unabashed lyricism conjures both the consolations of fatherhood and married love, and what Tomas Transtromer calls the deep—the dizzying sense of psychological and metaphysical gulfs plunging away beneath us at the very moment that our private lives seem most fulfilled, stable, even invulnerable to harm. Subtle of ear, heart, and mind, these poems in their intensities are grave, soulful, and always, always deeply pleasurable to read."
—Tom Sleigh, author of Space Walk

"Patrick Phillips’s beautiful new collection, Boy, is a kind of nostos as the poems circle and return, skillfully, to the house of memory, the place the past dwells. And yet, the past here isn't simply remembered but is palpably present, colliding, brought back in a more perfect form both celebratory and elegiac. In language at once taut and supple, spare and sinewy, Phillips gives us a collection full of longing and wisdom and a version of heaven in which all that we love and all our losses are returned to us, where ‘It will be the past. And it will last forever.'"
—Natasha Trethewey, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Native Guard

"This second collection from Kate Tufts Award-winner Phillips . . . is haunted by memories, could-have-beens and what-ifs. . . . Phillips is consumed with his vulnerability as a parent and finds himself lost in the cyclical recurrences of time."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Description
This follow-up to Patrick Phillips's award-winning debut navigates the course of the male experience, and particularly young fatherhood. Like Virgil's Aeneas, the book's central figure is in the middle time of life, a grown man with an aging father on his shoulders and a young son at his hand. Phillips's plainspoken and moving lyrics add an important voice to the poetry of home as they struggle to reconcile fatherhood and boyhood, present and past, and the ache of loving what must be lost.
Series/imprint:
The VQR Poetry Series

Page count: 72 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

 



Paper
List price: $19.95
978-0-8203-3119-5
3/15/2008

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Patrick Phillips's first book, Chattahoochee, was selected by Alice Quinn, Robert Wrigley, and Robert Pinsky for the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and also received a "Discovery"/The Nation Prize from the Unterberg Poetry Center. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Copenhagen, and his translations of the Danish poet Paul la Cour received the Sjoberg Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Drew University.