Words for Empty and Words for Full

Bob Hicok

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Words for Empty and Words for Full

Words for Empty and Words for Full As always with a Bob Hicok book fascinating and a book you sort of can t help but pick up and suddenly two hours later find yourself having read straight through I can think of just about no contem

  • Title: Words for Empty and Words for Full
  • Author: Bob Hicok
  • ISBN: 9780822960775
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • As always with a Bob Hicok book, fascinating and a book you sort of can t help but pick up and suddenly, two hours later, find yourself having read straight through I can think of just about no contemporary poets who publish such consistently great work Corduroy Books Bob Hicok s poetry is a fleeting comfort, a temporary solace from the chaos of the world Smart, hon As always with a Bob Hicok book, fascinating and a book you sort of can t help but pick up and suddenly, two hours later, find yourself having read straight through I can think of just about no contemporary poets who publish such consistently great work Corduroy Books Bob Hicok s poetry is a fleeting comfort, a temporary solace from the chaos of the world Smart, honest, powerfully inventive, his writing asks the biggest questions while acknowledging that there are no answers beyond the imposed structure of the page Los Angeles Times on This Clumsy Living The most potent ingredient in virtually every one of Bob Hicok s compact, well turned poems is a laughter as old as humanity itself, a sweet waggery that suggests there s almost no problem that can t be solved by this poet s gentle humor New York Times Book Review on Insomnia Diary

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    One thought on “Words for Empty and Words for Full

    1. Mark miller on said:

      WORDS FOR EMPTY AND WORDS FOR FULL Written by Bob HicokBook Reaction PaperBy Mark MillerI think I finally understand the book after reading more and more of it. It just came to me that poems have several distinctive parts to them the whole poem and the individual parts that make up the whole. There is also another part to it and this is the ethereal part that stays with you after reading it. This is the part that I finally got. In the beginning I was struck by the speed at which it flows with so [...]

    2. Jacqueline on said:

      I don't read enough poetry to have favorite poets but Bob Hicok is in my top two favorite poets

    3. Matt on said:

      I've read some Hicok before, and generally like him, though I thought his last book wasn't as good as people led me to believe (sorry, Caroline). But this one is all that and more-- dynamic and lyrical while still being grounded in the human experience and Hicok's own admitted failings, these poems are serious but still playful, committed without being ponderous, and investigations that don't feel dippy.The subject of the poems here, by and large, seem to be the War, and coterminous with that, t [...]

    4. Sian Griffiths on said:

      Five stars isn't enough. I want to give this book all the stars in the night sky. I love so much about this book, but perhaps most of all, I love its balance--how it is personal but political, how it is serious but self-mocking, how it is painful and funny. For example, this moment, in "Time Capsule," tries to explain to the future the irony of bailing out bankers but not the homeless:They were not, these fire-barrel people,given money, they were notbecause it sends the wrong message,because a c [...]

    5. Jenny (Reading Envy) on said:

      It is clearly ironic that the description for this volume includes the NYT review for his previous volume (as of 7.14.11 anyway), where it describe Hicok's poetry as being an escape from mundane life. That couldn't be any farther from the truth in these poems! The first third touches on aging and a failing economy and the fear of dying as his wife goes through major surgery either to fight or limit cancer. Then comes the big blow - a segment of poems written after the Virginia Tech shooting. App [...]

    6. Michael on said:

      "The gravel sounds like breakfast cereal eaten straight from the box."A good measure of the power or supposed validity of a written work is the lasting impression it may or may not leave on a reader. This book sat idle on my shelf for a time after I'd first opened it. Then suddenly I was immersed into the world that is Bob Hicok. The rhythm that these sometimes awkward phrases contain is one that disorients and rewards the reader:"this spring day, the giant steps/of the bus she has to climb, lit [...]

    7. José Gutiérrez on said:

      Hard to convey the urgency with which you should pick up this or any other poetry collection by Bob Hicok, except to say he is without doubt the most vital, necessary American poet writing today. If you think this is an exercise in hyperbole, do yourself the greatest favor since getting that last biopsy or smashing haircut all your friends went batty over, and read “For the time capsule,” pg 95 or the first poem in the collection, “In these times.” Or dip into 3rd gear and take the sceni [...]

    8. Matthew Murawski on said:

      I liked this collection. It could have been a little shorter, and I think the middle and end were stronger than the first section. Many of the poems deal with Hicok's experience after the VA Tech shootings and the continuing post-Iraq invasion in the mid-2000s. There's a sense of personal and cultural trauma. "Connect" I liked, "One Interpretation of Silence" - " 'To the puppies' is a phrase // I carry around in search of the context / in which shouting it will change everything." "For the Time [...]

    9. Patricia Murphy on said:

      I happen to like to have a little fun when I read a book of poems. And in this volume Hicok manages emotional, political and intellectual gravitas, sprinkled with moments when I laughed out loud. Moreover, many lines made me wish I had written them. Some of my favorites: "I kiss her paper esophagus." and "Rage is to Eros as cunnilingus is to essential." and "these seconds are an autopsy/ of this word,/ suddenly." and "Here you might recognize language/ as one of the ways to end a poem." and "I a [...]

    10. Emmy on said:

      This was an amazing collection of poetry! Upon starting, I will admit I kinda hated it. I didn't understand Hicok's style of writing; I found him tedious and frustrating and SO CONFUSING. However, after reading through about a quarter of the book, I thought perhaps I would give him another chance. And halfway through, I was fascinated. By the time I finished the book, it felt as though I was running and had just found the edge of a cliff, teetering on the edge, waving my arms, and desperately wi [...]

    11. Kevin Brown on said:

      I really wanted to like this book, as I've been wanting to read Hicok for quite some time now. I did enjoy the way he played with language and sound, but many of his poems left me wondering what the point was, why I had even bothered reading it. I don't mean that poetry needs to be didactic, but I didn't feel any emotional truth in many of his poems, even the feeling that he was conveying beauty. The poems about the Virginia Tech shooting and some of the more political poems are the exception, a [...]

    12. C on said:

      This book makes me wish that there were a 3 1/2 stars option.I'm a bit torn about this collection. It's about 1/3 longer than it should be. Hicok ruined one of my favorite poems of his, "Hope is a Thing with Feathers that Smacks Into a Window" by extending the ending about 5 lines (I read the original version in an issue of Smartish Pace). And a lot of the politics in the book beats you over the head, even when you agree with most of it. Having said all that, at its best Hicok's work is brillian [...]

    13. D'Anne on said:

      This book is over 100 pages, which is long for a poetry collection. In total there were 9 poems that I thought were awesome, which is not to say all of the other poems were terrible, but then again, there were definitely poems where I was all, "Why is this poem in this book? Where is this guy's editor?" Also, the cover is absolutely terrible. It's an iStockPhoto of students on what looks like a suburban community college campus. The cover is a nod to the many poems in this collection that are ab [...]

    14. Nathan on said:

      Look, we're going with 4 stars because,I politely leave--on a coffee tablein a coffee shop somewhere--any book that I don't likeby, say, page 15 or so.And Bob Hicok is oneof those poets I'm probablygoing to read, even whenhe's pissing me offwhich he did a time or twoin this still wonderful book.Thing is? When he hits it,he connects the bat with the balllike few others who are out theretrying their best to play this gameBottom line: I kept this bookfor my poetry shelf.That says a lot

    15. Brian on said:

      What I like most about Hicok is his honesty and lack of sarcasm. His sense of humor relies more on a natural openness to the potential craziness around us, an openness that understands irony without needing to make it the centerpiece of all observation. Hicok is, in a word, authentic, and encourages us all to be, too:" Shore up/ the adores: staves of water, lattice of prayer flags,/ the wind doting on devotion. To hold. The hold a request/ to be held by the fit of simply one thing/ to another, y [...]

    16. Meredith on said:

      i don't know if this is relevant to the specific collection itself, but i learned, while reading hicok, that i respond very well to reading poetry out loud to myself. i'm very grateful for this realization. with that said, almost every poem affected me in some way, though i found the collection to be somewhat disjointed as a whole. at any rate, i need to find someone to read to other than my cats.

    17. QS on said:

      Not what I was expecting after reading a few of Hicok's poems floating around the internet, which may well have effected how I felt about the collection. There were a few poems that I really enjoyed, and a few lines in poems I was otherwise pretty ambivalent towards that I really liked, but for the most part I have to give this collection a straightforward "meh". Not a spectacular collection here, and it was a little too long, but it's not bad.

    18. Bill O'Connor on said:

      This collection is a bit over-stuffed compared to his other books. Still great work here, but there are more than a couple poems that are unnecessary here, and some of the work verges on ostentatious wordplay that quickly pushes me away from the work. Save this one for after you've read Insomnia Diary or This Clumsy Living.

    19. Sarah on said:

      Gorgeous. Bob Hicok should seriously be considered for the next Poet Laureate. Even if you don't normally read poetry, Hicok is accessible without being pedestrian; narrative and language and imaginative leaps work together complex themes that comment on our contemporary state of living--what does it mean to be a human in the US in the 21st century

    20. Rattyfleef on said:

      Didn't like this collection as much as I wanted to. Many felt disjointed. A few were fantastic though, raw and leaping.

    21. Helen on said:

      When Hicok writes about Michigan, he's spot on. The poems about the Virginia Tech shooter are especially haunting.

    22. Destroydecay on said:

      Pretentiously written. High school level word play. Post-modern bullshit.

    23. Beth on said:

      I usually love a variety of poetry. This however, was terribly disconnected, rambling, and inane.

    24. Sara Sams on said:

      I really appreciate the way he uses language itself-- words, definitions, syntax-- to negotiate w/horror. A beautiful book, and some perfect poems in here.

    25. Rynell on said:

      I read this book last year, but I have recently re-read it. This is one of the best collections of poetry I have ever read.

    26. Rory on said:

      Sometimes a little political/preachy for my taste, but some really lovely stuff. Favorites: "Endangered species," "A wedding night," "Backward."

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