Breath Control - poems

Breath Control - poems by Maryann Corbett

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Breath Control

Full length collection, just out from David Robert Books.

“It’s said that the finest books of poetry should never be read in one sitting, but savored for weeks, a poem at a time—an idea that had always sounded sensible to me until the night I first opened Maryann Corbett’s stunning new collection, Breath Control. The concluding lines of virtually every one of these poignant, perceptive, exquisitely formed poems catapulted me to the next, and I didn’t quit reading until four in the morning. 

Now that I’ve finished the book—still amazed at the poet’s skill—I’ll be starting over, in order to savor again, among others, the likes of “Transaction” (never has a bill for college tuition reverberated like this), “The Birds of Ancient Battlefields Visit the Suburbs”, exquisitely rendered in Old English accentual meter, “Collision Course”, a many-layered poem about a relationship, told so honestly and directly that it makes composing in strict sapphic stanzas look easy. Here, without question, is a book— and a poet—to be genuinely grateful for.”
                                  — Marilyn L. Taylor, Wisconsin Poet Laureate, 2009-2010

“Too often these days, 'personal poetry' means a poetry of personality, to my mind a different thing altogether. In poems that range from galaxies and lunar orbit to a pair of noisy neighbors and a grown son playing chicken with airline schedules, Maryann Corbett reminds the reader that 'study to be quiet' does not necessarily entail remaining silent. Classical in their skills and absolutely contemporary in their subjects, these are mature poems, written for the mature.”
                                  — R.S. Gwynn

“This is a remarkable and beautiful collection, both these attributes rooted in its underlying honesty. A wry and generous vision informs the poems, which are rooted in the real world and soundly crafted out of real language, grammatical and accessible, with bright scholarship and unselfconscious skill....This book will prove a lasting gift to the world, though I feel obliged to ensure that it carries a clear warning. The contents may affect the heart in ways that could prove permanent.”    
                                  — Ann Drysdale

Breath Control has wit without meanness, warmth without sentimentality, and craft without pretension. Maryann Corbett’s poems are subtle joys.”
                                  — A. M. Juster

“There is a centeredness and a serenity in her work that is unsurpassed by any living writer of my acquaintance.”
                                  — Timothy Murphy