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Between the Chains

"With my eyes closed, I might have guessed a collaboration between William Empson and Noel Coward," J. D. McClatchy has said of Turner Cassity’s poems. Cassity’s new collection turns an icy needle-spray on topics as diverse as a Polynesian firedance, Johannes Brahms, and the Banque de l’Indo-Chine. Breaking a pact with himself, Cassity has written two poems about the South, which, the poet claims, are unlikely "to cause professional Southerners anything except discomfort."

"Turner Cassity’s excellent work is like no one else’s. It is funny, at times perverse, and wickedly serious. In this present collection, such poems as ’When in Doubt, Remain in Doubt,’ ’Acid Rain on Sherwood Forest,’ and ’How Jazz Came up the Elbe’ show one of our finest poets at the top of his game."—Timothy Steele

"Cassity thinks on his feet, agile and fierce—funny too."—Thom Gunn

"At a time when most poems seem a commodity, quickly written, quickly read and easily thrown away, Turner Cassity’s poems seem even more astonishing examples of good writing and reading, exceptions to be admired and kept."—Edgar Bowers

91 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1991

Phoenix Poets


Table of Contents

Persistence of Memory
Hedy Lamarr and a Chocolate Bar
Prometheus in Polynesia
When in Doubt Remain in Doubt
Acid Rain on Sherwood Forest
Bank Notes
Correction and Amplification
How Jazz Came up the Elbe
Preservation News
Quasimodo of the Singing Tower
Sketch for an Edda
Ruth Keelikolani
On Several Photographs of Nikola
Power Failure
Between the Chains
R.U.R. or Are You Aren’t?
Parlor Song
The Incorruptible
Betsy Ross, Astronaut
Some People Have No Small Talk
Lazy Afternoon
Campion in Uniform
For the Scrapbook of Mrs. Charles Black
Atlantis of the Conchs I-V
Fin de Siècle
Publicans and Sinners
Retouching Walker Evans
Knowledge Is Power
Against Activism
Arithmetic Equals Numerology
Mathematics Is Never Any Help
Other Directed
An Attempt to Explain Anorexia Nervosa to Lillian Russell
One of the Boys
Open Wounds
Laying It on the Line
Random Notes


Amer. Academy & Inst. of Arts & Letters: American Academy of Arts and Letters Award

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