Loads of Learned Lumber

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lucy Ives, _Orange Roses_

ANOTHER GREAT FIND in Conjunctions 60 was "Orange Roses" by Lucy Ives, perhaps a poem, perhaps a next-American-essay essay in the d'Agatan mode, but remarkable however one chooses to designate it.

"Orange Roses" is the title piece of Ives's recently-published collection, which seems in part to be a contemplation of her own career, judging from the titles "Early Poem" and "Early Novel," and the final piece, "On Imitation," about a quest of sorts she undertook at age twenty. One of the poems was published in Ploughshares when Ives was only 21 or 22; it was called "The Country House" then, but here it is titled "Ploughshares," which is both a canny gesture and a great joke.

I hope to discuss Orange Roses in a more respectable corner of the blogosphere, so I will say no more about it here, save to note that while the author, born in 1980, may be on the young side to be casting her eye over her journey as a writer, the Grateful Dead had only been a band for five or six years when they sang about what a "long, strange trip" theirs had been, and who are we to deny that their trip had indeed been long and strange? Ives's own trip, on the evidence of this book, has been strange and long enough.

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