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Ceremony for the Choking Ghost [Tapa blanda]

Karen Finneyfrock

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After losing her sister to heart failure, Karen Finneyfrock was unable to write poems for three years. Her voice came back, whispering at first and then screaming. "Ceremony for the Choking Ghost" contains the sound of that voice returning, bringing poems about grief and its effect on the body, the body politic, memory, and, of course, poems about love. Half poetry, half exorcism, her book calls to all of our ghosts.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 de un máximo de 5 estrellas  11 opiniones
2 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas From a poet's grief: poignancy and empathy 20 de mayo de 2011
Por David D. Horowitz - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
Karen Finneyfrock's Ceremony for the Choking Ghost provides a profoundly poignant record of the poet's reaction to her sister's death from unexplained heart failure at age thirty-six. Karen's grief and raw vulnerability render her speechless, shellshocked, nearly debilitated. She battles to stay emotionally afloat, succumbing at times, but more often than not emerging more deeply empathetic to others' grief. "How to Recognize a Damaged Girl," for example, so tellingly relates the essential images of her poem's subjects: "Eyeliner" and "mimic shiners" and "acrylic nails and fishnets." And there is the poet's trademark gift for simile and metaphor: "Cigarettes hang off their lips/like bridge jumpers who change their minds."

The poet also reveals her vulnerability in matters of romance. In the hilarious "Miss You," Karen wants to push away a lover who broke with and disappointed her, yet her heart goes "jackhammer" and "carousel" when he whispers he misses her. She seems almost angry at her vulnerability to such a man's charms--yet she expiates her longing through finely sarcastic delineation of the man's truncated acknowledgement, "Miss you." By poem's end, she feels less dependent on his good graces. She will "fold" his nostalgic words and put them "in my purse. I might be hungry later."

Such wit and sarcasm find other expressions here, as one would expect from one of our country's finest performance poets. Indeed, Ceremony begins with the fire and brimstone of "What Lot's Wife Would Have Said (If She Were Not a Pillar of Salt)." The poem excoriates the self-serving sanctimony of religious bigots who equate gays with decadence. Elsewhere in the collection, the poet makes clear she is proud of her friendship with gay people. In "Rebecca and Her Lover Ate Oysters," a lesbian couple finds a pearl in an oyster among those they ordered in a restaurant. Waiters and patrons both celebrate the rare occurrence. The poet, presumably still grieving over her sister's death, pointedly refers to God at poem's end: "Here is the reason, for one more day/to keep vainly believing God loves us." The poet sounds uncertain about God's love yet totally sincere celebrating others' joy in the couple's finding the pearl. This is turn reflects her hope for an inclusive divinity--a God who loves gays as well as straights; blacks as well as whites; women as well as men; poor as well as rich; indeed, every "necessary shining child." Karen demonstrates compassion and hints her compassion might be linked to such a God.

The emotional complexity of poems such as "Rebecca and Her Lover Ate Oysters" suggests Karen Finneyfrock's impressive maturation since the publication of her promising first collection, Welcome to the Butterfly House. Here are warmth and love--without false comfort. Yes, this is a brave voice--not as in feigned bravado but as in quiet acknowledgement of flaw and insecurity and weakness, and the redemption that accrues to those honest about them.
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas "like seeing a seagull in a grocery store" 14 de mayo de 2011
Por Elizabeth Austen - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
Karen Finneyfrock knows the disorientation of grief, "like seeing a seagull in the grocery store," firsthand. Her sister Beth died at age 36, while waiting for a heart transplant. In her poem "The Man on Television," Finneyfrock offers a gesture, a call, a song of understanding toward a man newly bereft, and by extension, toward all of us who know what it means to lose those we love.

Dear pigeon in the drugstore,
at night when grief turns your breath black,
and you breathe it alone among cereal boxes and medication,
resist breaking a wing on the windows. Every lock is made
with a key.

(Hear Karen Finneyfrock reading the poem on KUOW public radio at [...].)

These are poems of the most necessary kind of understanding--one human heart speaking to another about what can barely be contained by words.
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Beautiful 29 de enero de 2014
Por Molly Mooney - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda|Compra verificada
Karen Finneyfrock writes excellent poetry. She is also a young adult author and spoken word poet, and both of these things come through in this book. Everything she writes has an undercurrent of female empowerment, but it never feels preachy or overwhelming.
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Heart Strengthening and Life Charging - A Must Read! 19 de noviembre de 2013
Por S E Anderson - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda|Compra verificada
Karen Finneyfrock is a force of nature. Her voice is clear and strong, poignant and relevant. After experiencing a poetry slam where she portrayed her amazing poem Sea Witch, I was captured. I will buy any book she offers because her work is stunning and leaves me in a breathtaking reality and ultimately so very glad to be alive.
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas See things anew 3 de enero de 2012
Por Avonessen - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
I know Karen Finneyfrock, she is my neighbor. I have heard her read poems in bars, coffee shops and my own studio apartment. Still on a quite morning, alone on my couch, I am drawn to opening her book and reading again. Her poems cause me to see things anew, I smile, cry and at times become overwhelmed.
This is a book to buy for yourself - when you need to me reminded of magic, mystery, life and death. This is a book of poems to buy for a friend who is grieve stricken, in love, or both.
Ir a Amazon.com para ver las 11 opiniones existentes 4.9 de un máximo de 5 estrellas

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