Vice: New and Selected Poems Paperback – 17 Jun 2000
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"One of the most singular voices of her generation." -- The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Ai (1947-2010) is the author of eight books of poetry, including the National Book Award? winning Vice. In 2009 she was named a United States Artist Ford Fellow. She was a professor at Oklahoma State University.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 17 reviews
25 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
15 January 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
One person found this helpful.
D. P. Birkett
Bad things happen to bad people
15 June 2000 - Published on Amazon.com
6 people found this helpful.
The language is plain and they are easy to understand. If you took away the line breaks they could be read as straight prose. I could not detect any rhythmic or prosodic pattern. They are straightforward imaginary confessions - sort of Joyce Carol Oates mini-horror stories. The bad guys are rather standard liberal targets. It is readable and I found myself turning the pages and keeping on reading which is more than I can say for more edifying and esoteric poetry.
... book was for a class and I do not like it! it is creepy
14 July 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
One person found this helpful.
this book was for a class and I do not like it! it is creepy, really creepy. I can not read this kind of stuff.
I've read worse poetry, but....
18 April 2000 - Published on Amazon.com
13 people found this helpful.
I wish I could say something nice about this collection, which inexplicably won a National Book Award. Most of the poems (particularly the later ones) take the form of what the book jacket calls "dramatic monologues," in which the poet thinks her way into the minds of various political/pop culture icons (and sometimes just ordinary folk). Unfortunately, Ai lacks the insight to say anything particularly fresh or even interesting about her subjects; poems like "The Paparazzi" and "Hoover, Edgar J." are painfully trite. The poet's apparent lack of sympathy for her subjects tends to lead her into heavy-handedness. Worse, she has an erratic ear, resulting sometimes in weird clunkers: "come close between my thighs/and let me laugh for you from my second mouth." The poet is also excessively fond of having her characters describe themselves getting killed, a bizarre motif that pops up ad nauseam. Here we have Leon Trotsky, who continues prattling on even as his head is split open with an axe ("my head fell to one side, hanging only by skin"). Here's James Dean, who gives us the gory details of his car crash: "My head nearly tore from my neck/my bones broke into fragments." Other poems deal predictably with a host of sociopolitical figures: Nixon, the Kennedys, Joe McCarthy, O.J. Simpson, and so on. Before long, the poems begin sounding remarkably alike. This kind of ripped-from-the-headlines poetry tends to be ephemeral, and I don't think this volume is any exception. Even the very best poems here are no better than competent. The most I can say for this volume is that it makes for fairly breezy reading... but don't expect much.