The Ghost Soldiers

James Tate


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HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
1 May 2009
ISBN: 9780061756078
240 pages

From the publisher

In this, his fifteenth collection of poetry, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Tate continues doing what he does best. His poems are evocative, provocative, funny, subtle, eccentric, occasionally disturbing, and wildly outrageous. Tate's surrealist style strikes its own utterly new and original note in American poetry; as Charles Simic has observed, "To write a poem out of nothng at all is Tate's genius...Just about anything can happen next in this kind of poetry and that is its attraction...He makes me think that anti-poetry is the best friend poetry ever had." Father's Day My daughter has lived overseas for a number of years now. She married into royalty, and they won't let her communicate with any of her family or friends. She lives on birdseed and a few sips of water. She dreams of me constantly. Her husband, the Prince, whips her when he catches her dreaming. Fierce guard dogs won't let her out of their sight. I hired a detective, but he was killed trying to rescue her. I have written hundreds of letters to the State Department. They have written back saying that they are aware of the situation. I never saw her dance. I was always away at some convention. I never saw her sing. I was always working late. I called her My Princess, to make up for my shortcomings, and she never forgave me. Birdseed was her middle name.