Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Diane Seuss’s brilliant follow-up to Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Still life with stack of bills phone cord cig butt and freezer-burned Dreamsicle Still life with Easter Bunny twenty caged minks and rusty meat grinder Still life with whiskey wooden leg two potpies and a dead parakeet Still life with pork rinds pickled peppers and the Book of Revelation Still life with feeding tube oxygen half-eaten raspberry Zinger Still life with convenience store pecking order shotgun blast to the face —from “American Still Lives” Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl takes its title from Rembrandt’s painting, a dark emblem of femininity, violence, and the viewer’s own troubled gaze. In Diane Seuss’s new collection, the notion of the still life is shattered and Rembrandt’s painting is presented across the book in pieces—details that hide more than they reveal until they’re assembled into a whole. With invention and irreverence, these poems escape gilded frames and overturn traditional representations of gender, class, and luxury. Instead, Seuss invites in the alienated, the washed-up, the ugly, and the freakish—the overlooked many of us who might more often stand in a Walmart parking lot than before the canvases of Pollock, O’Keeffe, and Rothko. Rendered with precision and profound empathy, this extraordinary gallery of lives in shards shows us that “our memories are local, acute, and unrelenting.”
still life with two dead peacocks and a girl
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People in most countries are familiar with the blue peacock. It is one of the very few bird species that will tolerate a person standing within a few feet of it, and appears to appreciate an audience when it unfurls its magnificent train into a 6–7-foot arc of glittering iridescent feathers. The train feathers with their eye-spots have been prized possessions for centuries. The first record of a peacock in the Middle East, taken there from its homeland in the Indus Valley, was when King Solomon imported them c. 950 BC. The story of the peacock spread westwards and its impact on different countries is both surprising and fascinating. Peacocks became the subject of fairy stories, legends, fables, myths and superstitions. Images of peacocks have appeared in mosaics, frescoes, paintings from illuminated manuscripts through to modern graphics, and in the nineteenth century they represented opulence, luxury and vibrant beauty in the artefacts created by the Arts and Crafts, the Aesthetic and the Art Nouveau movements’ craftsmen in glass, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and other materials. The feathers of peacocks have been used in head-dresses, hats and helmets, to fletch arrows and to tie artificial flies for fishermen. This is the first book to bring together all the facets of the peacock including natural and social history, its role in religions and mythology in the East and West, and its place in the history of art and artefacts.
"In Margaret Fedder's Angel Rides a Bike, the poems hold a mysterious tension between tenderness and ferocity, spareness and a furtive lushness. Despite their relative brevity, Fedder's poems build a palpable world. There are implications of story, of Catholicism, of family, of place, but the common denominator, and overarching force, is the voice itself-attentive to beauty and to strangeness, and hungry for experience. This collection bespeaks a lyric coming-of-age and a rare instinct for wonder." -Diane Seuss, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and author of Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open; Four-Legged Girl; and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
Looks at some of the greatest pictures painted before 1699 by such masters as Bosch, Durer, Holbein, Brueghel, Caravaggio and Rubens, with every bird identified.
Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art celebrates an unprecedented era in the history of art. Drawn from the superb collections of Amsterdam's famed Rijksmuseum, the works of art featured here are a testament to the richness and variety of the paintings, prints, and decorative arts produced in the Netherlands in the 17th century. In a unique approach, Ruud Priem leads the viewer through the highlights of the Golden Age, beginning with the artists themselves and their studios, emerging into busy city streets and the bucolic Dutch countryside, and sampling the variety of 17th-century life and culture. Featured are ninety dazzling works by pre-eminent Dutch artists--Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter de Hooch, and Jan Steen, among them.