The Common Man

Maurice Manning

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The Common Man

The Common Man The Common Man Maurice Manning s fourth collection is a series of ballad like narratives set down in loose unrhymed iambic tetrameter that honors the strange beauty of the Kentucky mountain count

  • Title: The Common Man
  • Author: Maurice Manning
  • ISBN: 9780547249612
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Common Man, Maurice Manning s fourth collection, is a series of ballad like narratives, set down in loose, unrhymed iambic tetrameter, that honors the strange beauty of the Kentucky mountain country he knew as a child, as well as the idiosyncratic adventures and personalities of the oldtimers who were his neighbors, friends, and family Playing off the book s title, MaThe Common Man, Maurice Manning s fourth collection, is a series of ballad like narratives, set down in loose, unrhymed iambic tetrameter, that honors the strange beauty of the Kentucky mountain country he knew as a child, as well as the idiosyncratic adventures and personalities of the oldtimers who were his neighbors, friends, and family Playing off the book s title, Manning demonstrates that no one is common or simple Instead, he creates a detailed, complex, and poignant portrait by turns serious and hilarious, philosophical and speculative, but ultimately tragic of a fast disappearing aspect of American culture The Common Man s accessibility and its enthusiastic and sincere charms make it the perfect antidote to the glib ironies that characterize much contemporary American verse It will also help to strengthen Manning s reputation as one of his generation s most important and original voices.

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      178 Maurice Manning
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      Posted by:Maurice Manning
      Published :2018-06-13T03:36:42+00:00

    One thought on “The Common Man

    1. James Murphy on said:

      A reread.This is poetry in couplets and in the colloquial language of eastern Kentucky's hill country. These are beautifully rendered poems portraying the people of the region, their stories, and what makes up their lives. Sometimes touching, sometimes gritty, sometimes funny, they all speak a truth we can relate to.This morning, I took my pocketknifeand ate a turnip like an apple,as raw as love, and right out of the ground.It doesn't get more commonplacethan that, the dirt and bitternessundone [...]

    2. Charlie L on said:

      As I first read this book's first few poems, I thought, there's no way this could live up in any way to that fall or spring day--some time a little chilly, with a little rain--when Maurice Manning read his poems to a group of people in Southern Illinois, including myself, and later went on to drink with us into the night, where he took out his guitar and I took out my ukulele and some other friends played their instruments. It just couldn't possibly live up to that. Then I read a dirty limerick: [...]

    3. A.M. on said:

      Maurice Manning's The Common Man was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer prize for poetry. Pulitzers for poetry are given to a "distinguished volume of original verse by an American poet," and I can see why Manning was considered. Born and raised in Kentucky, his poems read more like ballads or narrative tales from life in his hometown.Each poem in the entire collection is formatted into two-line stanzas that celebrate memories, characters, tall-tales and the Kentucky landscape and culture. Some ar [...]

    4. Ken on said:

      My Old Kentucky home goes poetica as Maurice Manning revisits the tall tales of his youth in a series of unrhymed tetrameter poems celebrating a place, a time, and some very interesting folks. If you like Southern literature and vernacular in your tea, look it up!

    5. Booker on said:

      A great collection blending folklore, dialect and yet complicated word choice and ideas into a fine collection. These beg to be read aloud to cause friends and loved ones to laugh, to cry, or to reflect.

    6. Aimee on said:

      Manning captures the dialogue of a particular breed of Southern storyteller in these beautiful stories masquerading as poetry.

    7. Michael Gossett on said:

      I'll keep reading whatever Maurice Manning keeps writing; I think he's on to something in a really clever and important way.

    8. Jenny Day on said:

      "The Common Man" is southern storytelling in the prose of loose-lipped poetry with a strong undercurrent of religion, and of course, hillbilly. Wonderful set of poems to have.

    9. Kirk on said:

      Maurice Manning is one of my favorite living poets. Every poem is a moment of wonderful anticipation for me.

    10. Alli on said:

      What a beautiful set of colloquial and poignant poems. I found myself chuckling aloud and taking a deep breath to steady my nerves on more than one occasion.

    11. Tonya on said:

      Being from the country I could really relate to the references he was making. I do not know tha someone raised in the city would get this. Although that does not mean that you would not enjoy it.

    12. Richard on said:

      I've been reading and writing poetry for a long time, and the more I write, the more I wonder about the "rules." I wonder why the writers spend so much time rearranging prose into poetry. I wonder about line breaks, and rhythm, compression, and all the rest. I wonder about the old coots in colleges who haven't read a poem of value since the 1950's, or before. Then I start writing and quit wondering because I know what I'm after. Or I start reading, and try to be patient enough to find what I'm a [...]

    13. Brenda on said:

      The speaker(s) of these poems sets to tellin' a joke, or else a tall tale,but each anecdote slants as if corn-cob pipe deflectedtellin'. Whether he's on about a high strung womancaught by her apron stringsin a wringer washer,or a man requestin' to be buried "nekkid"in the undertaker's box,or else a girl settlin' into tire swingafter Sunday sermon only to findsaid swing occupied, her brother,then, choppin' copperhead to Kingdomgone,Maurice Manning's storytellin'winds like pipe smokeor else a chuc [...]

    14. Carrie Mullins on said:

      This book is perfect to read out loud from the backseat to your mom and sister in the front seat on a road trip to Indiana. For real.

    15. Brian Tucker on said:

      Beautiful collection of poems. Re-reading them brought out even more smiles this time. If you haven't read him, do it soon. He's breaking ground each time a new chapbook is released.

    16. Christopher McCaffery on said:

      Some poems are stand-outs; many blend into each other; nothing much truly objectionable surrounding the gems. The diner food of poetry.

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