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Luxury: Poems

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In this compassionate new collection, Philip Schultz’s wry and incisive poetic voice takes on both the eternal questions of meaning and happiness and essentially modern complexities—the collective power of women’s marches, the strangeness of googling oneself, the refugee crisis, the emotions associated with visiting the 9/11 memorial. At once philosophical and droll, Schul In this compassionate new collection, Philip Schultz’s wry and incisive poetic voice takes on both the eternal questions of meaning and happiness and essentially modern complexities—the collective power of women’s marches, the strangeness of googling oneself, the refugee crisis, the emotions associated with visiting the 9/11 memorial. At once philosophical and droll, Schultz explores life’s luxuries and challenges with masterly precision. Luxury takes its name from the center poem, which has an ironic ring next to Schultz’s Pulitzer Prize–winning collection Failure. The poem is a beautiful exploration of the pull toward life as Schultz examines the question of suicide, intimately probing a familial pull toward that darkness and weaving in the philosophy of Albert Camus and the voices and legacies of Paul Celan and Ernest Hemingway. Using humor, irony, and celebration as ballast against the book’s darker forces, Luxury explores the comfort and sustenance of life, the bittersweet clarity of aging, and the anxiety of existence. From "Greed": Happiness, I used to think, was a necessary illusion. Now I think it’s just precious moments of relief


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In this compassionate new collection, Philip Schultz’s wry and incisive poetic voice takes on both the eternal questions of meaning and happiness and essentially modern complexities—the collective power of women’s marches, the strangeness of googling oneself, the refugee crisis, the emotions associated with visiting the 9/11 memorial. At once philosophical and droll, Schul In this compassionate new collection, Philip Schultz’s wry and incisive poetic voice takes on both the eternal questions of meaning and happiness and essentially modern complexities—the collective power of women’s marches, the strangeness of googling oneself, the refugee crisis, the emotions associated with visiting the 9/11 memorial. At once philosophical and droll, Schultz explores life’s luxuries and challenges with masterly precision. Luxury takes its name from the center poem, which has an ironic ring next to Schultz’s Pulitzer Prize–winning collection Failure. The poem is a beautiful exploration of the pull toward life as Schultz examines the question of suicide, intimately probing a familial pull toward that darkness and weaving in the philosophy of Albert Camus and the voices and legacies of Paul Celan and Ernest Hemingway. Using humor, irony, and celebration as ballast against the book’s darker forces, Luxury explores the comfort and sustenance of life, the bittersweet clarity of aging, and the anxiety of existence. From "Greed": Happiness, I used to think, was a necessary illusion. Now I think it’s just precious moments of relief

30 review for Luxury: Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt Graupman

    Plaintive and plain-spoken, Philip Schultz’s poems take just a few moments to read but linger in your mind for much longer. The pieces in this collection, “Luxury,” have an earthy, workmanlike quality to them which makes a lot of sense after reading the epic title work, a sprawling rumination on suicide that manages to encompass Schultz’s relationship with his depressed father, the writings of Albert Camus and Paul Celan, the spirit of Ernest Hemingway and Che Guevara, beach walks at dawn, and a Plaintive and plain-spoken, Philip Schultz’s poems take just a few moments to read but linger in your mind for much longer. The pieces in this collection, “Luxury,” have an earthy, workmanlike quality to them which makes a lot of sense after reading the epic title work, a sprawling rumination on suicide that manages to encompass Schultz’s relationship with his depressed father, the writings of Albert Camus and Paul Celan, the spirit of Ernest Hemingway and Che Guevara, beach walks at dawn, and a down-in-the-dumps jazz musician. The other poems in “Luxury” are narrower in scope, but share the same literary DNA of yearning for understanding while remaining resolutely grounded. In a world of pain and sadness, Philip Schultz argues that happiness - and the longevity to recognize it - is the ultimate luxury. FAVORITES: “IGA” - A snarky appreciation of the unique people that frequent a small-town grocery store. “The Kiss” - A lovely ode to the normalcy of same-sex marriage. “Googling Ourselves” - A poem about the absurdity of sharing a common name with men around the world and how the internet makes that separation almost non-existent.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margaryta

    Schultz writes with an honesty that is almost addictive, making "Luxury" a collection that is difficult to put down. I loved the repetition of recurring figures and ideas throughout, such as R and the cake sculptures created by the speaker's (Schultz's?) wife. It felt like I was "living into" and acclimatizing to the world Schultz created. There is a flow to his style that I enjoyed tremendously, and although I am not always a fan of poems that occasionally slip into only one or two words a line Schultz writes with an honesty that is almost addictive, making "Luxury" a collection that is difficult to put down. I loved the repetition of recurring figures and ideas throughout, such as R and the cake sculptures created by the speaker's (Schultz's?) wife. It felt like I was "living into" and acclimatizing to the world Schultz created. There is a flow to his style that I enjoyed tremendously, and although I am not always a fan of poems that occasionally slip into only one or two words a line, Schultz executes this in such a way that it enhances his words and thoughts. "Luxury" is intimate and personal, a kind of self-contained poetic capsule that is impossible to stop pouring over once it is opened.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Valentine

    I was immediately drawn into Schultz's poems by his honesty. He probes his inner self and then writes about it with images and language that is beautiful, fresh, dynamic. Consistently, the poems in this collection are sad but I see nothing wrong with that at all; the honesty lies in naming happiness a luxury. I will be reading more poems by Schultz. I can learn from him, yes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Francescajemm

    These poems are the perfect combination of lyrical language and simple prose. The narrator has an expansive and curious mind - encompassing revolutionary Cuba, Camus, Hemingway, and Jazz, in addition to the narrator’s own father and wife and sons, his own depression and aging and fear of being obsolete.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jorge

    I usually don't read a poetry book straight through. I normally jump around, but this one I could not put it down. With a few exceptions, I liked all the poems in this collection. It is great poetry!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura Yan

    simple, honest, moving, philip schultz is kind of a genius in making the every day vivid and extraordinary.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marian Lindberg

    Stunning.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicky Enriquez

    Schultz has a mesmerizing way with words. He makes you ponder the ephemeral as well as the legacy. Loved it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    A collection of poems about the angst of being a Babyboomer.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wang-hall

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brennan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Harry Palacio

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mugren Ohaly

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jane

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Parker

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeffery Berg

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laurence Kirmayer

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anne, Unfinished Woman

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

  24. 4 out of 5

    C

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda

  26. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Weinstein

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mali

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  29. 5 out of 5

    Desiree Drager

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

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