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Paperback The Common Man Book

ISBN: 0544303393

ISBN13: 9780544303393

The Common Man

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

"The Common Man," Maurice Manning's fourth collection, is a series of ballad-like narratives, set down in loose, unrhymed iambic tetrameter, that honors the strange beauty of the Kentucky mountain country he knew as a child, as well as the idiosyncratic adventures and personalities of the oldtimers who were his neighbors, friends, and family. Playing off the book's title, Manning demonstrates that no one is common or simple. Instead, he creates a...

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

gritty and great

I greatly enjoyed this book. The poems are gritty and thought-provoking. They don't paint a glamourized picture of rural life; they show it in both pleasant and unpleasant detail. The topics the poems deal with include love, religion, raising crops, caring for animals, and education. Poetry lovers and people interested in the vanishing way of life embraced by rural people should check this out.

This is First Class Poetry

This is precision and nonchalanse dancing together in every stanza. Each couplet is a world which is spinning in the universe of the poem. Even if your childhood was not Southern or rural, your true experience is sung in these connective pieces of word craft.


This is the difference between a poet and greeting's card writer. He goes deep into his subject, a subject that often gets a on the surface treatment. It is the difference between the Robert Frost of 1919 and the Frost of the 1960's who became a icon of schlock.

manning's wondrous world

maurice manning has a penchant for spaced couplets, a penchant and a flair. a mastery. here there are thirty nine couplets, unrhymed, mostly iambic. tensile lines bearing tall tale, fable, family anecdote, a bit of a limerick, a suggestion of song, talking animals, insects and vegetables, ironic persiflage, and landscape description - breathtaking spans so light his prehensile construction breathes an air of magic. more to his credit, manning knows his place and respects those who came before him and their way of life. he has a good ear for channeling the voices from his past of rural kentucky, mountain country, hill country, and if I may say so, hillbilly country, and transcribing those voices to the page for a highly readable volume of poems. and there's nothing mean about the way manning handles dialect and idiom, carefully saving what scraps he can from obscurity before they have completed disappeared. `Well, this is nothing new, nothing to rattle the rafters in the noggin,' `does anyone still say he runs a right smart cattle? ...' `You people don't know the half of it! How many words are gone forever, no syllable or sound remains; how many stories die on the lips of the teller? ...' `Emptying a rain gauge ....he said, Yep. And there it was, a nip of Yep To bring me back to the wondrous world, ...'
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