Say Uncle


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Wish I had read this delightful collection when it was first published 10 yrs ago and I, too, was using very short lines in my poems. It would have been both validating and inspiring.

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This is what I was trying to achieve. Jan 15, Jennifer rated it liked it. Kay Ryan is very approachable as a poet Her poetry can have a cool edge to it, almost like the tellings of an aloof observer. Good, but not great. Jul 12, Holly Interlandi rated it really liked it Recommended to Holly by: my aunt. Shelves: poetry. Completely different from most poetry I read, but compelling all the same. She keeps her philsophy from being overly pretentious and trite. Jun 04, Jenni Buchanan rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry. This is a lovely book that I want to read over and over.

Kay Ryan's poems are beautiful in their simplicity. Each one is small, bite-sized, quick to read but long to mull over. Kay plays with language in a way that reminds me of other favorite poets of mine such as Wallace Stevens, e e cummings, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, but her subject matter and the way she looks at and relates to the world reminds me of Emily Dickinson my favorite poet of all time.

I would give a copy of this book to every This is a lovely book that I want to read over and over.


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I would give a copy of this book to every person if I could. It's such an engaging, simple, thought-provoking book of poetry. May 23, Andrew Mathis rated it it was amazing. Kay Ryan makes you think you don't look at the world as closely at you should. Each poem turns your eye to a connection or realization she has seen before you. Jun 16, Ray rated it liked it Shelves: read-in Feb 21, Brian Wasserman rated it it was ok. Word salad, and questions that seek to be profound but fail to be profound. Some of the playfulness is charming but only in small bites.

Aug 24, Jennn rated it it was ok Shelves: poetry.


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  7. I don't really enjoy rhyming poems, so many times it feels forced and limits the poem. Some people can really use it and reinvent it, wowing me completely. Unfortunately, Kay Ryan isn't one of those poets.

    The rhymes aren't completely traditional, so that was a little improvement for me. I liked that they were short, but sometimes they felt too abrupt. Many of the poems I felt didn't cross into anything new or weren't that personal. Oct 18, Beth rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry , contemporary. Each poem in this book is compressed and compact, yet deep and resonant. The lines seem almost cropped, so that the thin linear band of text bridges a chasm of empty white paper. The spare succinctness of the poems allow us to truly see and savor each word. Many times the poems start in nature — with the peculiar particularity of a tree, an animal, a change in the weather — and they delve into rich surprises beneath in a few short lines.

    Other times the seed of the poem opens in the turn of a ph Each poem in this book is compressed and compact, yet deep and resonant. Rhymes dot the poems with a freedom that follows no stringent pattern. In the hills giant oaks fall upon their knees. You can touch parts you have no right to— places only birds should fly to. May 13, Will rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry , asheville-libraries. I really enjoyed this collection of poetry.


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    Kay Ryan is wonderfully inventive with language and is at least as interested in the sound of things, which I find refreshing. While a lesser poet would jam-pack their work full of intriguing noise—albeit noise bereft of all meaning—Ryan's poems do not suffer from this kind of playfulness-run-rampant.

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    Instead, she casts and recasts her words carefully like all good poets , crafting pieces that are bountiful in ideas and alive with the music that frame I really enjoyed this collection of poetry. Instead, she casts and recasts her words carefully like all good poets , crafting pieces that are bountiful in ideas and alive with the music that frames them. Even if some of Ryan's subjects are not pleasant sickness, death, and impermanence to name a few , she writes with considerable intelligence and good humor, trying resolutely to turn poetry from a solemn and somber practice to something worth reciting.

    If this sentiment was more popular, perhaps we'd hear poetry some place other than in a darkened room in the bowels of academia or at a funeral. Jan 05, Paula Koneazny rated it liked it Shelves: poetry. Ryan's poetry is sly and spare. Could almost call it effervescent. However there's Ryan's version of spare and then, for example, Norma Cole's version of spare, which is to my mind, much richer and more satisfying.

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    Although her poetry looks back to Emily Dickinson, Ryan's knives aren't nearly so sharp. Hers isn't a poetry that I would return to over and over. For example, "Star Block": There is no such t Ryan's poetry is sly and spare. For example, "Star Block": There is no such thing as star block We do not think of locking out the light of other galaxies. It is light so rinsed of impurities heat, for instance that it excites no antibodies in us.

    Yet people are curiously soluble in starlight. Bathed in its absence of insistence their substance loosens willingly, their bright designs dissolve. Not proximity but distance burns us with love. Dec 05, Megan rated it really liked it. Reading the poetry of Kay Ryan is like swallowing a Vicodin with a nice hot buttered rum and then wrapping up in a cashmere blanket and daydreaming about that time when you went camping one summer and everyone else went to their tents but you stayed on a big, weathered log in front of a fire that was still spitting sparks up.

    You sat and followed the desperate, crackling trajectories of those flecks of dying heat that escaped from the fire--some made it all the way up to the deep blue tops of th Reading the poetry of Kay Ryan is like swallowing a Vicodin with a nice hot buttered rum and then wrapping up in a cashmere blanket and daydreaming about that time when you went camping one summer and everyone else went to their tents but you stayed on a big, weathered log in front of a fire that was still spitting sparks up.

    You sat and followed the desperate, crackling trajectories of those flecks of dying heat that escaped from the fire--some made it all the way up to the deep blue tops of the looming pines, where they became ghosts of the Milky Way and sent their earthly white skeletons cascading back down again, trembling pieces of ash soon to be buried in the soft dirt around your feet. Apr 04, Arwen rated it liked it.

    I couldn't believe a little school like ours was able to get such a notable person to visit. Say Uncle is a good collection of well written poems. Where is is when is is was?

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    I have an is but where is his? Now here— no where: such a little fatal pause. Shelves: read My favorites cover a range of pretty deep topics. Recurring ideas include the cycles of life, change, growing up, grace through the hard times, fears, life struggles, mental illness, nature, simplicity, and death. Overall, a very enjoyable and delicious read.

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    Nov 18, Haley rated it liked it Shelves: lgbtqia , poetry. Poetry collections are much harder for me to review. They are so much more subjective. Are they fiction? Sometimes they tell a story, but usually just snippets or pieces. A few were worthy enough to be copied into my journal. Many, if not most, had some connection to nature, with an undertone of romance or heartbreak. Dec 09, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry.

    Kay Ryan is growing on me. I think I previously read some of these poems in her Best of It collection. I like how compact she makes her poems. They have strong imagery, rhythm, and rhyme, and the short line breaks are playful and fun. A few of her poems left me scratching my head like "Among English Verbs" , but I mainly enjoyed reading them. Their brevity and wit beg for them to be reread again and again. Dec 06, Timothy Green rated it liked it.

    Read this in the waiting area of a nail salon.

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