The Face
David St. John
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Buy *The Face: A Novella in Verse* online

The Face: A Novella in Verse

David St. John
63 pages
March 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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David St. John is the author of seven collections of poetry; This innovative work is a novella in verse. How painfully, beautifully this work brings out the feelings of the narrator; a man shifting form the ecstasy of love to the black anguish of heart- breaking loss. The book is composed of sixty-five, freeform poems that poignantly depict the narrator’s steady demise.

Curled Up With a Good Book“When I used to live there it was boring & even before yesterday
It was boring -I mean, even before I knew it was boring.
Before yesterday-& if I still
Lived there I would probably thin it was boring. But today…
Today, here with you standing right in front of me like
The body of a shadow or like a shadow naked as a body,
Like a woman dressed in a body naked
AS a shadow, like a shadow undressing before a mirror, like yesterday,
Like a mirror with a shadow & a trench coat…Well, here, today, as
We both undo the loose belts of
Our shadows, our trench coats, our bodies, here with you…
It’s never really boring. Not today, no, & not even before yesterday.”
St. John says that he wants his poems to give the reader “an experience, an artistic experience—and because it's a poem, the experience is an engagement of language—that is unlike any experience they've had. I want the way in which their brain has to move, the way their consciousness has to work to move through the poem, to be somewhat disconcerting and new because that's how I think we learn as people. I want the poems to open up a sense of possibility to people.” In this collection, he certainly succeeds; St. John’s style has a passionate urgency that pulls the reader along a vibrant tide of emotions.

Davis St. John has been awarded an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the O.B. Hardison prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library. He teaches at USC.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Corinna Underwood, 2004

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