The Tongues of Earth: New and Selected Poems

Coteau Books
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Along with the finest pieces from his three previous books, often in revised form, The Tongues of Earth includes 20 new poems. Known as a writer of place, in The Tongues of Earth Abley extends his range over time and history. These poems are distinguished by their combination of clarity and grace, high intelligence and deep feeling. Poems such as “Mother and Son”, “Labrador” and “Glasburyon” are the work of a literary artist with few peers in Canada. To those who have known Abley only as a prose writer, this book will come as a revelation. Endorsed by Julie Bruck, who won the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry in 2012.
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About the author

Mark Abley is a Canadian poet, journalist, editor and non-fiction writer. The winner of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for critical writing, he has been a contributing editor of both Maclean’s and Saturday Night magazines, and a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Coteau Books
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Published on
Apr 1, 2015
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9781550506112
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / Canadian
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Nature
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Places
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Phrases, idioms, and clichés—why do we say the things we say? Watch Your Tongue explores weird and wonderful everyday sayings and what they reveal about us.

Do you ever wonder why you shouldn’t have a cow but you should seize a bull by its horns? Who has the better reputation in language—cats or dogs? Do you sometimes feel that our speech is all smoke and mirrors or that our expressions simply make no sense?

In Watch Your Tongue, award-winning author Mark Abley explores the phrases, idioms, and clichés of our everyday language. With wit and subtle wisdom, he unravels the mysteries of these expressions, illuminating the history, tradition and stories behind everything we say. Pulling examples from Shakespeare’s plays to sports team names, ancient Rome to Twitter, Abley shares samples and anecdotes of the eccentric ways that we play with, parse, and pattern language.

Why do so many companies use fruit for their brand names? What do politicians mean when they say they’re going to “drain the swamp”? Why does English use chickens to signify cowardice? Abley dives into the history and psychology behind these examples and countless others, unpacking their significance (and sheer absurdity) to show how our language developed, where it is headed, and what we can learn about ourselves from it.

Whimsically illustrated, easily browsable, and full of catchy sidebars, Watch Your Tongue celebrates how we amuse ourselves with words and what our sayings reveal about the way we see the world.
The award-winning poet reinvents a genre in a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present.

Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five. As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent. By turns whimsical and haunting, erudite and accessible, richly layered and deceptively simple, Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is.

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist  

"Anne Carson is, for me, the most exciting poet writing in English today." --Michael Ondaatje

"This book is amazing--I haven't discovered any writing in years so marvelously disturbing." --Alice Munro 

"A profound love story . . . sensuous and funny, poignant, musical and tender." --The New York Times Book Review

"A deeply odd and immensely engaging book. . . . [Carson] exposes with passionate force the mythic underlying the explosive everyday." --The Village Voice
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