Romey's Order

Romey's Order

Book - 2010
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Romey's Order is an indelible sequence of poems voiced by an invented (and inventive) boy-speaker called Romey, set alongside a river in the South Carolina lowcountry.

As the word-furious eye and voice of these poems, Romey urgently records--and tries to order--the objects, inscape, injuries, and idiom of his "blood-home" and childhood world. Sounding out the nerves and nodes of language to transform "every burn-mark and blemish," to "bind our river-wrack and leavings," Romey seeks to forge finally (if even for a moment) a chord in which he might live. Intently visceral, aural, oral, Atsuro Riley's poems bristle with musical and imaginative pleasures, with story-telling and picture-making of a new and wholly unexpected kind. 

Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780226719429
Characteristics: xi, 54 pages ; 24 cm
Other Standard Identifier: 40017761953


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ColemanRidge Sep 21, 2011

Read these aloud. Subvocalize at least. It probably helps to be from down South to do that. One thing going on here is a reading kid with a Japanese mother is growing up among poor Southern whites, and he is finding his own language in the welter of languages swirling around him. There is a very strong oral culture going on among the poor whites, but it is completely different from what he is reads and from the way his mother talks, and he has to put it all together. This is not in the poems; this is the poems. The people in these poems are poor, but their surroundings are infinitely rich in complexity and detail. Everything is old, overgrown, jungley, junky, tangled, thrown together, patched together, and overrun: money-poor, but treasure to the educated eye. This book educates your eye.


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