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Bestiary

Poems

by Donika Kelly

eBook

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Donika Kelly's fierce debut collection, long-listed for the 2016 National Book Award and winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

I thought myself lion and serpent. Thought
myself body enough for two, for we.
Found comfort in never being lonely.

What burst from my back, from my bones, what lived
along the ridge from crown to crown, from mane
to forked tongue beneath the skin. What clamor

we made in the birthing. What hiss and rumble
at the splitting, at the horns and beard,
at the glottal bleat. What bridges our back.

What strong neck, what bright eye. What menagerie
are we. What we've made of ourselves.

—from "Love Poem: Chimera"

Across this remarkable first book are encounters with animals, legendary beasts, and mythological monsters—half human and half something else. Donika Kelly's Bestiary is a catalogue of creatures—from the whale and ostrich to the pegasus and chimera to the centaur and griffin. Among them too are poems of love, self-discovery, and travel, from "Out West" to "Back East." Lurking in the middle of this powerful and multifaceted collection is a wrenching sequence that wonders just who or what is the real monster inside this life of survival and reflection. Selected and with an introduction by the National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, Bestiary questions what makes us human, what makes us whole.


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Publisher: Graywolf Press

OverDrive Read

  • ISBN: 9781555979539
  • File size: 2193 KB
  • Release date: October 11, 2016

EPUB eBook

  • ISBN: 9781555979539
  • File size: 2193 KB
  • Release date: October 11, 2016


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1 of 1 copy available

Formats

OverDrive Read
EPUB eBook

subjects

Fiction Poetry

Languages

English

Donika Kelly's fierce debut collection, long-listed for the 2016 National Book Award and winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

I thought myself lion and serpent. Thought
myself body enough for two, for we.
Found comfort in never being lonely.

What burst from my back, from my bones, what lived
along the ridge from crown to crown, from mane
to forked tongue beneath the skin. What clamor

we made in the birthing. What hiss and rumble
at the splitting, at the horns and beard,
at the glottal bleat. What bridges our back.

What strong neck, what bright eye. What menagerie
are we. What we've made of ourselves.

—from "Love Poem: Chimera"

Across this remarkable first book are encounters with animals, legendary beasts, and mythological monsters—half human and half something else. Donika Kelly's Bestiary is a catalogue of creatures—from the whale and ostrich to the pegasus and chimera to the centaur and griffin. Among them too are poems of love, self-discovery, and travel, from "Out West" to "Back East." Lurking in the middle of this powerful and multifaceted collection is a wrenching sequence that wonders just who or what is the real monster inside this life of survival and reflection. Selected and with an introduction by the National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, Bestiary questions what makes us human, what makes us whole.


Expand title description text