Night Sky with Exit Wounds

by Ocean Vuong (Auteur)

Paperback, 2017



Call number



Jonathan Cape (2017), 96 pages


Torso of Air. Suppose you do change your life & the body is more than a portion of night sealedwith bruises. Suppose you woke & found your shadow replaced by a black wolf. The boy, beautiful & gone. So you take the knife to the wall instead. You carve & carve until a coin of light appears & you get to look in, at last, on happiness. The eye staring back from the other side--waiting.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ShawIslandLibrary
A fascinating new voice. The language flirts with all sorts of sensibilities: hints of the author's Vietnamese heritage, gentle explorations of sexuality, an almost-magical-realism at times. (Brian)
LibraryThing member poetontheone
The title is very much apt, since this collection is a visceral topography of the author's personal and family history, invoking both his Vietnamese heritage and his sexuality through images and language that are bloody, frightening, tender, and even playful. Vuong has a great command of tone and
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line, and his voice is more evidence that we are living in an exciting time for contemporary poetics.
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LibraryThing member over.the.edge
Night Sky With Exit WoundsπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’
By Ocean Vuong
Cooper Canyon Press

This volume of poetry centers on the emotions and emotional states that make us all, family, loneliness, grief, sadness. This is a new author for me, but I really enjoyed the heart and soul of its poems.
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Very personal, but also easy to relate to on a personal level. He captures the feelings so perfectly. I will be looking for more from this clever and spirited poet.
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LibraryThing member ElleGato
I honestly don't know what to say beyond this is the best collection of poetry I've read this year. I don't know how to adequately portray how good this book is. Vuong's use of language, violence, love, grief, anger, and memory is so exacting, so powerful...if you love poetry, read this. Now.
LibraryThing member jphamilton
I find myself reading Ocean Vuong's work backwards in time. I felt I had to read On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, after all the richly-deserved and glorious reviews, and now I spin back to this previously published collection of poetry. After reading the much more accessible poetry of James Tate
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and Ron Padgett, washing up on the shores of Ocean Vuong's poetry, meant that I had to engage my mind more, as his poetry is more cerebral in nature. Maybe I'm just in a lazy state of mind, but his poetry didn't impress me half as much as his stunning fiction.
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LibraryThing member b.masonjudy
I did not expect such a range of volume in this collection. Vuong oscillates between poems that are quiet, contemplative, and explosive. The entire work is undergirded with an intense gaze of cultural and personal history.
LibraryThing member quondame
I read every word but understand only a shattered world of painful shards of cut and held connections and a constant imagery of grenades and their potential to destroy.
LibraryThing member HippieLunatic
Intimate and delicate explorations of the big issues facing each human - family, love, romance, grief, ennui.
LibraryThing member bell7
This award-winning collection of poetry showcases Vuong's talent for brutal imagery and evocative wordplay. Though I can't say how many, if any, are truly autobiographical, it appears that the poet draws on his own family history and experience as immigrants from Vietnam after surviving war, and
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his own experiences as a gay man, for much of his material. "Aubade with Burning City," for example, starts with a note that Armed Forces Radio gave the code to evacuate Saigon in 1975 by playing "White Christmas" and proceeds to intersperse lines from the song throughout in a brilliant, intense poem intertwining a man and woman in a hotel with war in the city. "Self Portrait as Exit Wounds" was another favorite of mine, using the symbolic language of a bullet's path to bring us through several intense scenes. I didn't always "get it." I had trouble with some of the more abstract language, trying to figure out what he was describing. One poem, with numbers scattered down the page and the language actually in notes at the bottom of the page, had a form that distracted me from really appreciating it. Overall, I'm glad I read it.
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LibraryThing member tuusannuuska
I don't feel comfortable rating this, because I feel like I'm too dumb to understad this style of poetry.

I don't read much poetry to begin with, but I've been trying to get into it by sampling this and that. I started soft with Amanda Lovelace and Pillow Thought, and quickly found those obnoxious
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and something entirely different than what I consider poetry to be. I hind sight, I know this one was a step too far, too fast, because these poems require the reader to actually know how to read poetry. Through out this collection, I just felt like I needed someone to hold my hand and explain to me what the writer meant.

If I ever manage to expland my understanding of poetry and how to interpret poems, I might want to get back to these. For now, I think I'll stick to Vuong's prose.
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LibraryThing member booklove2
I really enjoyed Ocean Vuong's novel 'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous', so I thought I'd try his poetry. As much as I'm sure my brain can not actually appreciate how great these poems are, as poetry just falls right into the black hole of my mind and doesn't untangle. I think the sentences of his
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novel just work better for me, in a sentence format way. I'm waiting for a second novel! Great imagery here though. I do not regret reading this as the rare book of poetry I have actually picked up.
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Physical description

96 p.; 7.8 inches


1911214519 / 9781911214519
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