Showing 3161 - 3170 of 3222 annotations

The River Styx Runs Upstream

Simmons, Dan

Last Updated: Nov-08-1995
Annotated by:
Shafer, Audrey

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

A young boy's mother has just died, and out of grief and love, the father has her "resurrected." The family is told to think of the returned mother as having had a mild stroke, but, in fact, she wanders about the house like an inexpressive automaton. Her return from the dead leads to the destruction of the family: the eventual suicides of the boy's older brother and father. The boy, now a young man, becomes a Resurrectionist himself. He narrates the story with a direct, simple tone, which belies the eerie conclusion: he returns to the home of his youth, where his "family" awaits him.

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Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This poem is essentially a list of the splendid variety of shit in the world. It begins: "You'll rejoice at how many kinds of shit there are . . ." and continues the catalog for 45 lines, from gosling shit, through cricket and mandrell shit, ending with "the shit of the wasteful gallinule."

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Mother and Child

Axelrod, David

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A man speaks to his six-months pregnant wife. He says she lures him "to our conjugal bed / to use each other gently . . . . " He imagines "eyes staring at me from / deep inside" that "say we are captured . . . . " He concludes "We are / too sure we need each other / to let go."

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Outlook

Booth, Philip

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The patient is lying on the table under an x-ray machine. He observes carefully the details of the machine above him--the three cables, the "crayon’s nose-cone," the traces of the electric tape that once bound the darker cable to the others. Now it is held by "serrated plastic ties." Everything is ready to "look into / whatever’s next, whatever it is I’m in for." What will appear on the film does not appear outside "under plain old sky," where it is "just beginning to snow."

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Burnout in the Overshoot

Ammons, A. R.

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

It is autumn. The "first cool spell" has come and made its changes, but life continues: "there's something besides // death and nothingness / even if winter is coming." You can never arrive at death. As you approach death, you diminish, so that in the end, "nothing is equal to nothing."

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Consent

Axelrod, David

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

An elderly woman is dying in the hospital. She still speaks to the poet's persona, "even near the end when she only screamed / at her children that they wanted her dead." Though she seems to want to continue living, when she lapses into a coma, her children make "the doctor stop all heroic measures." Thus, they kill her just like she said they would.

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Frankenstein's Monster

Bell, Marvin

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

Frankenstein's monster is speaking. "Bigger than the best, but not the best," he will do anything, he will not rest until "the earth is rid of that Creator / who dared to make a thing without a soul." He tells us that he is "the dark body . . . / made . . . to symbolize your dread." He warns us that he is not really something exterior or alien--we can find him in our sons and daughters, even in ourselves: "While you disperse in every dark theater / in streams of light, inside you I am whole."

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He Had a Good Year

Bell, Marvin

Last Updated: Jun-26-1995
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The poem describes the visual sensations of a person's "good year" as he is going blind. "Autumnal light / gave to ordinary things the turning / beauty of leaves . . . . " Normal colors became spectacular in their new manifestations and meanings. He was able "to look inside the top glow of each object" and discern its "inner texture." Even God might have such visions as these, if he "were only half the man he is."

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Among Men

Dunn, Stephen

Last Updated: Jun-09-1995
Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This disturbing poem describes a locker room scene in which a young man feels compelled to tell his male companions and fellow handball players, "how he did it to her and what she did to him." According to the narrator, completion of the sex act for the man depends, it seems, on such indiscreet accounts. Prior to the disclosure, the men had been self-congratulatory, saying that their game "had been terrific." Readers are left wondering what the now naked sportsmen would say; would the story be seen as another "terrific" game or would the offender be checked?

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Sonogram

Muldoon, Paul

Last Updated: May-11-1995
Annotated by:
Ratzan, Richard M.

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This is the first of three poems (all annotated in this database) chronicling events that culminate in the arrival of the poet's new daughter. The second, Footling, relates her in utero reluctance to sally forth; the last, The Birth, is a verbal Fourth of July celebrating the birth of Dorothy Aoife Korelitz Muldoon. "Sonogram" is a three-stanza, eight-line image of the sonogram and the images it suggests. It reminds one of Pound's famous Metro poem for its sheer economy and pictorial power.

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