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First Things When

Robert Rehder

First Things When by Robert Rehder
Categories: 21st Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (84 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2009)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • When the best restaurant in Charleston
    Puts chocolate in the pecan pie,

    You know you're in deep trouble,
    But it doesn't stop there,

    It doesn't stop anywhere.

                                     from 'Melt Down' by Robert Rehder
    In First Things When Robert Rehder views the modern world - our world - with a cool wit. Insights deadly despite a self-deprecating ruefulness spark into view. Rehder's poems inhabit the invented, rootless places that modern society creates: supermarkets, airports and parking garages; the illusory communities of celebrity and the digital universe: 'Instead of friends you have email'. Rehder's humour acknowledges his complicity and skewers the fake and the absurd.

    The small Swiss village of Corminboeuf where the poet lives is both a comic and mythic location for a life. Throughout the collection, luminous, poignant poems return us to a larger world that sustains and, precariously, endures: the fading splendour of Venice, a culture we are in danger of discarding, and a series of poems on the mysterious, transforming power of snow. These are poems about everyday things, remembering and forgetting, movies, coffee mugs and the beauty of the natural world.

    Cover painting: Frank Stella, Hyena Stomp. 1962 (copyright 2008 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society, New York).

    Robert Rehder was born and grew up in eastern Iowa. He attended Princeton, where he majored in Near Eastern studies. He studied at the Ecole des langues orientales in Paris and at the University of Tehran, then returned to Princeton to do a PhD in Near Eastern Studies. He has worked ... read more
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