- Title: Curses and Wishes: Poems
- Author: Carl Adamshick
- ISBN: 9780807137765
- Page: 278
- Format: Paperback
The unusual voice encountered in Curses and Wishes carries a quiet, slightly elevated conversational tone, which flows from intimate secrets to wider social concerns The poet has faith in economy and trusts in images to transfer knowledge that speech cannot In Curses and Wishes the short, simple lines add up to a thoughtful book possessed with lyrical melancholy, a harmoThe unusual voice encountered in Curses and Wishes carries a quiet, slightly elevated conversational tone, which flows from intimate secrets to wider social concerns The poet has faith in economy and trusts in images to transfer knowledge that speech cannot In Curses and Wishes the short, simple lines add up to a thoughtful book possessed with lyrical melancholy, a harmony of sadness and joy that sings May happiness be a wheel, a lit throne, spinning in the vast pinprick of darkness By the close of this ambitious work the poet has inspired readers to see the multifaceted effects of our human connections.
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My first encounter with the Portland poet Carl Adamshick’s work was “Out past the dead end sign,” a long poem in American Poetry Review in 2009. It’s a poem of great sustain, its plain statement crossed with sinuous thinking, a mad dream and a sensible conversation at once. Yet as skilled as he is at the long poem, the shorter poems in his first book, Curses and Wishes (LSU Press, 2011, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets), are even more striking as bold, [...]
This award-winning book of poetry is small but powerful. I found that some of the poems were absolutely stunning in their emotional effectiveness. Others are longer story poems, oblique, moving around in place, in time, in gender. They will need reading again, possibly a few times to soak in the meaning and for full impact.
"Curses and Wishes" is a quieter yet not hollow space. It opens the door and steps out of the house but has not walked too far away. This is your neighborhood, after all. It is difficult to ignore the word 'despairing' from what must be Adamshick's furrowed brow, but there is too much white space, too many short lines, too many quiet musical solos for one to stay outside the club down the block. Come inside and sit at a back table. Drink water or beer, no one will care. Get up on the stage and s [...]
Whispers and Other Focused ThoughtsCarl Adamshick was the winner of The Walt Whitman Award for this glowing little book of poems, CURSES AND WISHES. For those who may not have heard, 'The Walt Whitman Award brings first-book publication, a cash prize of $5,000, and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center to an American who has never before published a book of poetry. The winning manuscript, chosen by an eminent poet, is published by Louisiana State University Press. The Academy purcha [...]
So: I previously posted a fairly harsh review of this book here on . Four years later, without having re-read the book, I'm not going to second guess my appreciation for the work, but I do want to rethink my criticism. In my current work as a critic, I generally won't review poetry that I don't like, because I prefer only to publish something that might be useful to another reader (which I find difficult to do when I dislike a piece of writing). And even if I like the work, I try to present that [...]
Curses and Wishes by Carl Adamshick uses an economy of words to address the harrowing moments of life and the happier moments. His images are unique and playful, but his subjects are sometimes dark and eerie, like the barren tree with its barely there spinal column of vertebrae on the cover. From “Even Though” (page 1-3), “I felt the deep bruise of a sentence/and wanted to eat/at the banquet of silence.” Which are the curses and which are the wishes is left up to the reader, but some poe [...]
I like Iphigenia, Almost and the Emptiness. Overall this a good first published collection and I hope there's more soon. Iphigenia begins with "war never starts with blood" then the narrator explains some mundane events and gets back to the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter without mentioning the father by name. Instead he says "the brothers believe her blood will fill sails." The brothers refer to Agamemnon and Menelaus the main Greek kings in the Trojan War. The sacrifice was meant to bring on [...]
Like the Curate’s Egg: Very Good in PartsMy first impressions when I began this book made me wish I could have liked it more than I did. The poetic quality of these verses in generally high, with clear imagery and a relative, and refreshing, absence of standard creative writing gimmicks (though not a complete absence: one poem, Pelican, for instance, begins with one of the most overused current verse gambits, the abruptly introductory Pronoun Mysterious set in the Landscape Poetic: “We walke [...]
Carl Adamschick came to MSU-Mankato this Thursday, September 13. This is a book I liked--found some really good lines, saw a different perspective and original approach to writing, etc. At the reading, however, it became apparent that there was more humor to the book than I had realized. Carl was very understated but it became apparent how generous he was as a writer. He is not a person who is impressed with himself or takes it for granted that you will love what he has to read. Just before he r [...]
Strong in places, weaker in others. I quite enjoy Adamshick's poetry in general - it's accessible and powerful. Fun to read and very telling of the world around us. Sometimes some poems work better than others, but, always, his syntax and use of language is so powerful. He doesn't feel the need to dress his words up. He says it as he says it, and I think that makes for a powerful collection.
I lucked out and found this gem at the library used book sale last weekend. Why would someone want to give it away? Now it is mine, mine,mine.
While I wasn't very fond on Adamshick's shorter poems, his longer pieces kept me really enthralled.
Gems and gemstones. This is the begin inning of something. I've read this book twice, I wish I could give more.
Shows promise, inconsistent, but some very fine passages
"These are the days. Know that your mouth and heart will be twisted through with root and worm. Know that you cannot change what has happened, that it can only distance itself from you, grow weak, that humiliation and regret die like everything, that we go on from here like we have always gone on."yes we do
I was resistant to this book initially: it felt strangely post-modern and romantic/deep image at the same time, deconstructing and dwelling in the suffering artist, the beauty of pain, the problems of expression, of relationships, tired etc. A distorted James Wright came to mind. But in a book group this hinge opened up for me more. It's not to be a contradiction but, like the "curses and wishes," a deepening. I did enjoy the dexterity of the statements that had a hortatory, wishful quality but [...]
I enjoyed some of the longer poems in this collection, especially "Even though" and "Our flag," but found many of the shorter poems too spare. The brevity of some of the poems made them seem glib, especially when referencing violence, as in "Nursing" and "Correction." I appreciate how the contrast with the shorter, quieter poems helps the bolder-voiced poems to stand out so vividly, but overall the book felt uneven, rather than multifaceted.
811.6 A219c 2011
A gorgeous collection that delicately interweaves longing with joy, sorrow with celebration. Favorites include "Our flag," "The emptiness," and "Out past the dead end sign."
Searing--start to finish!!
A small but good collection for a first time published poet !Some of his poems are short and simply stated others are like stories.I like Adamsshick's use of language. 3.5 stars for me.
Very nice poetry in a slim attractive book.
"Harvard, Illinois" was my favorite.
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