I Will Destroy You
The newest collection from Nick Flynn, whose “songs of experience hum with immediacy” (The New York Times)Beginning with a poem called “Confessional” and ending with a poem titled “Saint Augustine,” Nick Flynn's I Will Destroy You interrogates the potential of art to be redemptive, to remake and reform. But first the maker of art must claim responsibility for his past, his actions, his propensity to destroy others and himself. “Begin by descending,” Augustine says, and the poems delve into the deepest, most defeating parts of the self: addiction, temptation, infidelity, and repressed memory. These are poems of profound self-scrutiny and lyric intensity, jagged and probing. I Will Destroy You is an honest accounting of all that love must transcend and what we must risk for its truth.

I Will Destroy You Details

TitleI Will Destroy You
Author
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherGraywolf Press
ISBN-139781644450024
Rating
GenrePoetry

I Will Destroy You Review

  • Julie Ehlers
    January 1, 1970
    Here's the deal—if you diethen I will be able todrink again & noone alive will evenblame me—this,child, is the dark wind in-side, but notthe darkest ...—From "Poem to Be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child"Yes, this is dark, but, in I Will Destroy You, possibly not the darkest. But I Will Destroy You is the darkest Nick Flynn has been, and that's saying something. Undeniably effective and affecting, but I hope the next one is a little bit lighter, for the sake of both the reader and Here's the deal—if you diethen I will be able todrink again & noone alive will evenblame me—this,child, is the dark wind in-side, but notthe darkest ...—From "Poem to Be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child"Yes, this is dark, but, in I Will Destroy You, possibly not the darkest. But I Will Destroy You is the darkest Nick Flynn has been, and that's saying something. Undeniably effective and affecting, but I hope the next one is a little bit lighter, for the sake of both the reader and the writer.
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  • jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    full of ruefulness, remorse, ruin, regret, rawness, and reflection, the forty-four poems that make up nick flynn's latest collection, i will destroy you, find the poet/memoirist expounding ever further upon themes he's explored in previous works, perhaps most notably in another bullshit night in suck city (later adapted into the film, being flynn). the suicide of his mother, as it does elsewhere in his writing, looms large in his dark, but stirring new collection. flynn is a father now and full of ruefulness, remorse, ruin, regret, rawness, and reflection, the forty-four poems that make up nick flynn's latest collection, i will destroy you, find the poet/memoirist expounding ever further upon themes he's explored in previous works, perhaps most notably in another bullshit night in suck city (later adapted into the film, being flynn). the suicide of his mother, as it does elsewhere in his writing, looms large in his dark, but stirring new collection. flynn is a father now and throughout i will destroy you, his sense of wonder (and paternal love) is quite evident, however interspersed with fears of failure and inevitable worries over genetic predispositions for addiction. flynn's writing has always been bold, unabashed, and often gut-punchingly candid. nearly twenty years after his first collection of poetry, flynn remains a vital, singular voice.balconythe radio claims the secret issimple—it's to always wantto know what comes next& to let that want pull youback from the ledge, again& again. i have a friend who,the years he was drinking,would, every night, stack allthe furniture in his living roomin front of his sliding glass door,which led out to his fifth-floorbalcony . . . . he knew that oncehe'd had his first drink, not rightaway but eventually—soon—he'dblackout & he worried he'd tryto fly again. couch. table. chair.bookcase. for years he draggedhis furniture, every night as the sunwent away & in the morning heput it all back in place, never con-sidering, not once, that maybehe should stop. the one promise ican make is that i'm stayingeven though what knocks on ourdoor at night has at its heart onlymy getting lost, even thoughsome part of it wants me dead,which is why i feed it with a stick.you've already met it, but it didn'tshow you all its teeth. it knewit had to lull you in, it knew you wereskittery. it let you feed it by band, itlet you put a finger in its mouth,into its good, good mouth. it didn'tbite down, not hard, not then,not yet.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW Tomorrow, orthe day after, I'll press mymouth to your scar & runmy tongue along itso I can taste how you were onceopened, so I can know whereyou never closed.
  • Zach
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, Nick Flynn, you will. You did. You will always. America's greatest living poet.
  • Sarah Katz
    January 1, 1970
    I Will Destroy You is the modernized retelling of Icarus—except that, after the speaker’s fall, its protagonist is resurrected. In the opening poem, “Confessional,” he lays himself bare to the reader—“admits” to his faults, preparing the reader for something dark and heavy. “Now, it [this poem] wears its shame like a halo,” read its final lines. “Please, take it, rip it up, put it in your glass. / We can watch it dissolve.” Throughout the book, through some sort of sleight of hand I can’t quite I Will Destroy You is the modernized retelling of Icarus—except that, after the speaker’s fall, its protagonist is resurrected. In the opening poem, “Confessional,” he lays himself bare to the reader—“admits” to his faults, preparing the reader for something dark and heavy. “Now, it [this poem] wears its shame like a halo,” read its final lines. “Please, take it, rip it up, put it in your glass. / We can watch it dissolve.” Throughout the book, through some sort of sleight of hand I can’t quite put my finger on, he transforms the loss of his mother to a house fire, himself to addiction, his marriage to infidelity—into an all-consuming, redemptive light. Despite—because of?—the tragic subject matter, Nick Flynn has found a way to answer that eternal, burning question: why live? Because “people are not // replaceable.”
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  • Khashayar Mohammadi
    January 1, 1970
    I have a love/hate relationship with Nick Flynn, but this collection held one of my favorite poems of his
  • Curtis
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars After reading the fourth poem in this book, Poem to be whispered by the bedside of a sleeping child I closed the book for a moment and audibly said, "damn." I Will Destroy You will feel familiar to fans of Flynn's previous works. But, this one comes with a warning, with lessons to be learned. Compelling, clever, and accessible.
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  • C
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe closer to 4 stars but when I began reading it the one-two punch of "Balcony" followed by "Poem to be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child" took my breath away with such force that I said that it was an automatic 5 star rating for me. I had to stop and reread each of them several times, share them with friends... These two poems are Flynn at his most forceful - freaking brilliant.That is not to discount the rest of the book. I personally feel that the first section is the strongest Maybe closer to 4 stars but when I began reading it the one-two punch of "Balcony" followed by "Poem to be Whispered by the Bedside of a Sleeping Child" took my breath away with such force that I said that it was an automatic 5 star rating for me. I had to stop and reread each of them several times, share them with friends... These two poems are Flynn at his most forceful - freaking brilliant.That is not to discount the rest of the book. I personally feel that the first section is the strongest but the whole thing is just so gorgeous and powerful.Maybe... *maybe* not as good in my opinion as Some Ether but so so very close.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    My version of coping with absurdly horrifying news includes reading poetry. This collection was pretty terrific.
  • Courtney LeBlanc
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this collection of poems by Nick Flynn -- I'm not sure anything will ever top Some Ether, his first book of poetry. This collection talks about love and fidelity, alcoholism, his mother's death, the burning down of his childhood home and his daughter. from Balcony: "The one promise I / can make is that I'm staying / even though what knocks on our / door at night has at its heart only / my getting lost, even though / some part of it wants me dead,"from Sleeping Beauty: "Even the fire I liked this collection of poems by Nick Flynn -- I'm not sure anything will ever top Some Ether, his first book of poetry. This collection talks about love and fidelity, alcoholism, his mother's death, the burning down of his childhood home and his daughter. from Balcony: "The one promise I / can make is that I'm staying / even though what knocks on our / door at night has at its heart only / my getting lost, even though / some part of it wants me dead,"from Sleeping Beauty: "Even the fire returns to embers - / fire's version of sleep. In some tellings all / this sleep is a blessing, a solution to grief - / no one will miss her because they will sleep / as long as she sleeps & they will wake / when she wakes, no one having felt / a thing."from If Only They Could Bottle This Feeling: "Our kiss / stretched a wire / from your hands to my skull, I fell / inside, mouth first, head / first... if I / was made of fire I'd have / burst into flame."Overall a good collection of poems but it doesn't unseat Some Ether as my favorite collection from Nick Flynn.
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