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Life Pig

From Let Me Hear You
Outside is inside now.
The pyramid whose point
we are is weightless
and invisible
and has become itself the night
in which alone
on a high plateau
we go on shouting
out whatever name
those winds keep blowing back
into the mouth that’s shouting it.
Alan Shapiro’s newest book of poetry is situated at the intersection between private and public history, as well as individual life and the collective life of middle-class America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Whether writing about an aged and dying parent or remembering incidents from childhood and adolescence, Shapiro attends to the world in ways that are as deeply personal as they are recognizable and freshly social—both timeless and utterly of this particular moment.

96 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016

Phoenix Poets



"In deft, quiet language, National Book Award finalist Shapiro . . . recalls the past and how it sometimes hurts. . . . Capturing what many of his readers face, Shapiro . . . has his moment of triumph and honor."

Library Journal

“Shapiro’s wonderful and deft volume opens new possibilities for the public and private poem. From the ‘sugar high’ of an astronaut’s step on television, to the ‘sleep and terror’ of a lost decade of youth, to the wrenching deathbed images of a parent, this book has all the music of public elegy and all the intimacy of a private soliloquy. These moving and powerfully crafted poems make us participants, not spectators. They draw us into deeper understandings of our own losses and give us a language for what often seems beyond speech.”

Eavan Boland, author of A Woman Without a Country

Table of Contents

Life Pig
The Hebrew Ouija Board
The Hiawatha Recitation
The Look
Trajan’s Column
Moon Landing, 1969
Ghost of the Old Arcade
Let Me Hear You
Thanks for Nothing
The Killing
Low Tide
Green Thought
Toward Language
Dog Heart
On the Greenway behind My Old House
In the Hotel Room
On the Beach
Her Closet
Dressing Table
The Bedroom
The Pig
Heavy Snow
Goodness and Mercy
Sweetness and Night
Mother Palinode
The Weeper
The Last Outing
The Sibyl’s Nursing Home
Terminal Restlessness
Death Hog

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