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Synopsis

Lawrence Raab's richest work to date-his saddest, funniest, most personal, and most searching book

Of Lawrence Raab 's 1972 debut, Mark Strand wrote:

"This is a first book with more authority and wisdom in it than most poets are able to manage in their entire careers. I am amazed by its casualness and clarity, its forcefulness, its engrossing strangeness." Mystery and strangeness remain at the heart of Raab's work, but now they are revealed more fully through the world around us-everyday deceptions, inexplicable violence, unexpected tenderness, the comedy of hope and desire. In one poem, Proust appears in Raab's class to confront a student who disputes the great author's claim that "the true paradises are the lost paradises." And in the title poem, set just before the Fall, the snake alone understands how people will come to yearn "for whatever they'd lost, and so to survive/ they'd need to forget."

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