My Private Property

My Private Property

Author of Madness, Rack, and Honey ("One of the wisest books I've read in years," according to the New York Times) and Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle continues to be one of the most dazzling poets in America. My Private Property, comprised of short prose pieces, is a brilliant and charming display of her humor, deep imagination, mindfulness, and play in a finely crafted Author of Madness, Rack, and Honey ("One of the wisest books I've read in years," according to the New York Times) and Tr...

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Title:My Private Property
Author:Mary Ruefle
Rating:
Genres:Poetry
ISBN:1940696380
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:128 pages pages

My Private Property Reviews

  • Kevin
    Sep 17, 2016
    I've read bits and pieces of Ruefle before but this is my first whole book experience and I was won over quick. These are tightly-crafted, wise, and funny poem-essays on various subjects, ranging from Christmas trees to menopause (sadness, salted milkshakes, and shrunken heads are also...
  • Jessica
    Apr 11, 2017
    Lovely, lovely. "Of course in the meantime you have destroyed your life and it has to be completely remade and there is a great deal of grief and regret and nostalgia and all of that, but even so you are free, free to sit on the bank and throw stones..." ...
  • Jim Coughenour
    Oct 16, 2016
    I'll come right out with it ? after Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures and Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle's prosy musing in My Private Property is only so-so. The proportion of snoozers to wry wit is about 10 to 1. There's a series that start with colors of sadness: "Gra...
  • Danielle
    Mar 05, 2018
    "It is sad, is it not, that no one today displays any interest in the art of shrunken heads." I've taken to scanning the poetry section of my library and just checking out whatever looks good. I'm so glad that I grabbed this book. It's not so much poetry. It's a mix of essays, short...
  • D.A.
    Aug 08, 2016
    The mind of Mary Ruefle is mesmerizing. ...
  • Amanda
    Feb 01, 2017
    I loved this book, especially the colours of sadness and the eponymous "My Private Property." I feel as if Ms. Ruefle gives me permission to be fanciful and yet true. I recommend this book to everyone who needs it and I think that's the world. ...
  • Iva
    Apr 06, 2017
    Mary Ruefle keeps surprising the reader with strange and often wonderful images. They are often ordinary things or a few pages on shrunken heads. The Library of Congress assures us that these are poetry, perhaps because she has published many volumes of poetry; these clearly are short ...
  • Buzz
    Dec 06, 2016
    Bliss and haunting seem to be collaborators in My Private Property. This slim volume of 41 prose/poems, published by Wave Books in 2015, gives us Ruefle in her aphoristic mode. A concluding line like "On this day we shut out Nothing!" has the unexpected force of a final capitalization-...
  • Amanda
    Nov 11, 2016
    One of those books that changes your perspective on life and so many of the things in it. Highly recommended for those who want their existential sadness to be acknowledged for the grave thing it is. ...
  • Ellie
    Feb 05, 2019
    A very interesting collection. Some pieces seemed poems, others more very short stories. Ruefle has an interesting mind and her stories always caught and kept my attention (and I can be a very ADD reader!) throughout. Even when I hated the subject (for example--and primarily--the shrun...
  • Gwendolyn Jerris
    Oct 15, 2017
    bittersweet, witty, wise as usual. but ever so much sadder than any of her other books. not an emotional or intense or weeping sadness, either. but gray and at the edges, empty. like resignation. like endings that have no closure, when things just drift off to nothing. i might not reco...
  • Debs
    Dec 27, 2016
    These are gorgeous, funny, arresting, poetical essays about topics both familiar and heretofore unexamined (by me). The essay on menopause scared the hell out of me; I really hope it's not as bad as all that. I love the note Ruefle wrote in the acknowledgements re: the color essays. Th...
  • Taube
    Oct 25, 2016
    "One thing is for certain--I wouldn't want to be a Christmas tree. It would be nice to be the center of attention, to be so decorated and lit that people stared at you in wonder, and made a fuss over you, and were mesmerized. That would be nice. But then you'd start dropping your needl...
  • Mia
    Jun 02, 2018
    Ruefle is very original. Or at least I haven't read anything like her work before. Very witty writing that constantly caught me by surprise. Some of the poems were serious, some fun, some surprisingly humorous. My favorites were "Among the Clouds" and "Like a Scarf." A bit of Among...
  • Vincent Scarpa
    Sep 10, 2016
    Another great collection from Mary Ruefle, one of my favorite poets. It's interesting to see her working in blocks of prose?I think it's a great stylistic move for this collection in particular. And while I couldn't always jive with the "color of sadness" pieces woven throughout, the...
  • Chelsea
    Jan 25, 2017
    It is a blessing that I discovered Mary Ruefle three years ago, in the poetry section of my local library. She doesn't write the way others write, and she's strange and fascinating, and one of the only writers I'd like to read over and over again. ...
  • Deniss
    Nov 09, 2018
    It took me almost two months to read 100 pages just because I didn't want this book to end. What a lovely collection and how wonderful Mary Ruefle is. I love her. ...
  • Patti K
    Jan 26, 2017
    A short book of prose poems that are curious and provocative. Some sound like koans and others like experimental short fiction. But all the short pieces are fun and worthy of attention. ...
  • A
    Oct 01, 2016
    Replace sadness with happiness. It means the same. ...
  • Jane Somers
    Feb 20, 2017
    The whole book is worth the purchase price for the essay "Pause." But maybe not if you aren't a fifty-something woman. ...
  • Charles Finch
    Sep 21, 2017
    Beautiful and jaw-dropping, like all of MF's work. Knocked a star off because it's slim and has a few weaker sections; would start elsewhere with her, but this is wonderful. ...
  • Suzan Bond
    Jan 21, 2018
    I came to this book with big expectations. Bigger than one book can fulfill perhaps. It was recommended and beloved by so many that it leapfrogged its way to the top of my list. Though there were a few essays that I didn't connect with, by in large this slim volume met my expectations....
  • Lily
    Jan 18, 2017
    First of all, the title essay is about shrunken heads. That should be enough to be at least intrigued by this. If that doesn't do it for you, this is my favorite thing I've read in awhile. Lyrical essays or prose poems, these vignettes are gorgeous. What do the various colors of sadnes...
  • choomi
    Oct 20, 2018
    4.5 stars Finally picked up the book after revisiting "Personalia" for months. I can see how her writing may annoy some (it can feel like rambling/you're reading a run-on sentence) but I saw a lot of myself in the book. The tenderness and warmth her words carry make me feel like someo...
  • (jessica)
    Dec 14, 2016
    Technically, this Mary Ruefle collection is not entirely prose poetry. There are short essays, tiny stories, lots of little reflective texts. But they operate like poetry and feel designed to be experienced and considered and breathed while you're reading them. This is my excuse for wh...
  • Haley
    Sep 13, 2017
    This small collection of very brief prose poems was an instant favorite for me. Oh my god, I've never experienced so many emotions so potently in such short spans before! The titular piece, "My Private Property," is about shrunken heads (!) and is in turn funny, gruesome, thoughtful, c...
  • Ruth
    Dec 08, 2016
    funny.brilliant.too little.just enough ...
  • Krish Sanghvi
    Sep 01, 2018
    Such a delightful book! Her style is very unique, and her descriptions of things are ironic, but full of childlike enthusiasm. I love her benign pessimism about things. My favourite poems from this would be ?observations on the ground? and ?the woman who couldn?t describe a thi...
  • Bookforum Magazine
    Dec 01, 2016
    "A few of the paradoxes that animate the texts in Mary Ruefle's My Private Property are embedded in the title itself. The proclamation that property is private is typically intended to ward off intruders, whether it appears on the cover of an adolescent's diary or is posted on a fence ...
  • Brittany
    Jan 18, 2017
    This is a fast-paced collection of some of Ruefle's most recently published work, along with little essay fragments on sadness and in scene. I realized I had read many of the longer pieces before ("Pause", "My Private Property") which rang as a weird kind of bell when I got to them aga...