Angie Estes

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(ISBN 0-932440-99-1)

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"Very few poets understand language's singing side, its vocal music, half as well as Estes, and few succeed as she does in making that music control whole poems."
--Stephen Burt, The Believer
(See complete review here.)

"Throughout Chez Nous Estes is interested in the ways language maps both interior and exterior landscapes, exposing contours and corners, pathways and distances. And the distances she travels with regard to subject are nothing short of remarkable; in Chez Nous we venture from Paris to Delphi to Rome, encounter Miles Davis and Mae West, Marcus Aurelius and Pliny, to name only a few. These poems mark the territories of both intellect and emotion--often at once and with an attention to lyric and image that is striking and memorable."
--Nancy Kuhl, The Laurel Review
(See complete review here.)

"With glamour's grammar and a vision rich in historical insight, Angie Estes has written a brilliant, evocative book. Picture a green glass vial tucked between the pillows of a diva's breasts 'to keep the cognac warm.' Chez Nous is at once crystal and cognac--flacon and spirit--and the singular, pure-pitched notes crossing so assuredly between them."
--Linda Bierds

"The poems in Angie Estes' Chez Nous bristle like Wallace Stevens' firecat ('leaping / To the right, to the left') from the very start. She proves, in poem after poem, that nearly every word 'houses' a complex of meaning and nuance, frequently contradictory, and suggests that this 'house,' built by human utterance over time (and thereby 'our house'), is the quintessential metaphor for human nature: its tendency to invoke, reinvoke, unreinvoke, until simplicity is rendered impossible. The effect of Estes' persistent exploration is a collection of phenomenal poems--magnificent word-houses--that, like words themselves, with their roots, celebrate the ground, with their stems, solemnize the sky, and in sum, achieve the perfect musical accompaniment to the imperfect act of being alive."
--Larissa Szporluk

Angie Estes is also the author of Voice-Over.



Think of nothing so much
as light thinking of where
it will hide when all
the bulbs have gone out,
and follow Vita Sackville-West's advice
to plant flowers you can recognize
in the dark because elegance,
said Madame Errazuriz, means
, a room edited
to make room for more
room so that every object stands
in relief. I have been memorizing
the room
, Queen Christina replied; in the future,
in my memory, I shall live
a great deal in this room.
really, like the violence,
the violins in the andante of Schubert's
fourteenth string quartet, the v sound,
Poe claimed, is the most
beautiful of all because it is
the sound heard in violets
and viols, although I have come
to prefer the sound of x because it marks
the spot in exile and exit, exquisite
and exact. Before she was
Harriet Brown, Greta Garbo
was Greta Gustafsson. Once
you were here. Now you are
the most elegant of all, the future
as we imagine it
to be: a beautiful room, vacant
except for the blonde light
flooding its face, like Garbo
staring ahead at the end
of Queen Christina, already
thinking of nothing, no longer
needing her director's advice.

--Angie Estes

Copyright c 2005 by Angie Estes. May not be reproduced without permission.

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