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The Key to the City

The Key to the City brings together work that has long been admired by readers of literary magazines and quarterlies. The collection opens with "The Ruins," a group of poems set in poor neighborhoods in New York City—some so cut off from midtown that they seem part of another continent or another age. The people in these poems are schoolgirls, a cleaning lady in the laundromat, derelicts, a prostitute stabbed in the street. Their interwoven voices contribute to a complex, grave vision of remote causes and immediate suffering in the city. The poems of the second section explore a broad range of experience: pregnancy and nursing, inward solitude, the textures of Renaissance painting and American landscapes.

56 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1985

Phoenix Poets


Table of Contents

I. The Ruins
Night Wash
Two Derelicts
The Billboard Man
The Street
The Key to the City
The Lenses of Jacob Riis
A Grade School History
The Ruins
II. The Armada
Elizabeth Near and Far
Pregnant Woman Reading Letter
Paolo Uccello
Alternate Lives
Suburban Hours
The Illustrated Gazetteer
Day and Night in Virginia and Boston
Readings in the Navigators
Demolition Crane
To New York
Prayer for Peace
The Hall of Armor
The Armada

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