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  • Ants on the Melon
  • Written by Virginia Adair
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  • Ants on the Melon
  • Written by Virginia Adair
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307554390
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Ants on the Melon

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A Collection of Poems

Written by Virginia AdairAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Virginia Adair

eBook

List Price: $13.99

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On Sale: November 04, 2009
Pages: 176 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55439-0
Published by : Modern Library Random House Group
Ants on the Melon Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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poetry (33)
poetry (33)
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

"        Virginia Adair speaks directly and unaffectedly, in an accent stripped of mannerism and allusion. Ants on the Melon exhibits enough formal variety, freshness, and intelligence to confirm, at one stroke, that Ms. Adair is a poet of accomplishment and originality."
--Brad Leithauser, The New York Times Book Review

"        Extraordinarily moving. Her voice is clear, assured, varied, and utterly her own."
--A. Alvarez, The New York Review of Books

"        The rhyme is ingenious, the humor saucy and unsparing, and the author clearly takes a delight in perversity, in an inversion of the expected."
--Alice Quinn, The New Yorker

"        How bright and unmuddled and unaffected and unswerving these poems are. There's such aplomb, no faking, such a true hard edge. They never miss."
--Alice Munro

"        Adair writes with a thinking heart's and a feeling mind's unusual clarity. Here is a sensual, wise, precise, amazing voice."
--Sharon Olds

Virginia Hamilton Adair is America's most widely read and respected serious poet. Ants on the Melon has already become a landmark in the nation's
literary history, and the advent of this paperback edition guarantees that her great gifts will be recognized and appreciated by an even larger audience.

Excerpt

Now You Need Me

When the rains come
you remember
our old closeness
humping along
in the wet.
You grope the dark
where I hang
morosely
by my crooked neck.
You pull off my cover
shake me till my
ribs jingle
and a moth flies out.
Your hand reaches under
my black skirt
and up one leg
thin as a cane
until I open wide
with a rusty squawk
hovering above you
like a dark and loving
raven, said the old
umbrella, her night
full of holes.


Peeling an Orange

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World's Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a naval orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolling
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me."
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.


One Ordinary Evening

Lying entwined with you
on the long sofa

the hi-fi helping
Isolde to her climax

I was clipping
the coarse hairs

from your ears
and ruby nostrils

when you said, "Music
for cutting nose wires"

and we shook so
the nailscissors nicked

your gentle neck
blood your blood

I cleansed the place
with my tongue

and we clung tight
pelted with Teutonic cries

till the player
lifted its little prick

from the groove
all arias over

leaving us
in post-Wagnerian sadness

later that year
you were dead

by your own hand
blood your blood

I have never understood
I will never understand.


An Hour to Dance

For a while we whirled
over the meadows of music
our sadness put away in purses
stuffed into old shoes or shawls

the children we never were
from cellars and closets
attics and faded snapshots
came out to leap for love
on the edge of an ocean of tears

like a royal flotilla
Alice's menagerie swam by
no tale is endless
the rabbit opened his watch
muttering late, late
time to grow
old


From the Hardcover edition.
Virginia Adair

About Virginia Adair

Virginia Adair - Ants on the Melon
Virginia Hamilton Adair was born in 1913 in New York City. Educated at Kimberly, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, and the University of Wisconsin, she taught briefly at Wisconsin, William & Mary, and Pomona College, and for many years at California Polytechnic University at Pomona. She passed away on September 16, 2004. To find out more about Virginia Hamilton Adair, visit her website at http://faculty.vassar.edu/kawaugh/

  • Ants on the Melon by Virginia Adair
  • March 16, 1999
  • Poetry
  • Modern Library
  • $15.00
  • 9780375752292

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