Two Open Doors in a Field

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Pub Date 01 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2023
University of Nebraska Press, The Backwaters Press

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Description

The poems of Two Open Doors in a Field are constructed through deliberate limitations, restlessly exploring place, desire, and spirituality. A profusion of sonnets rises from a single circumstance: Sophie Klahr’s experience of driving thousands of miles alone while listening to the radio, where unexpected landscapes make listening to the unexpected more acute. Accompanied by the radio, Klahr’s experience of land is transformed by listening, and conversely, the body of the radio is sometimes lost to the body of the land. The love story at the core of this work, Klahr’s bond with Nebraska, becomes the engine of this travelogue. However far the poems range beyond Nebraska, they are tethered to an environment of work and creation, a place of dirt beneath the nails where one can see every star and feel, acutely, the complexity of connection.

The poems of Two Open Doors in a Field are constructed through deliberate limitations, restlessly exploring place, desire, and spirituality. A profusion of sonnets rises from a single circumstance:...


Advance Praise

“Sophie Klahr’s spare twenty-first-century sonnets track a drift toward and away from attachment across a beautifully drawn, often desolate landscape. It’s a national myth, the lonesome rider searching the vast open spaces for shelter and refuge. But now the drifter is a woman as strong as she is vulnerable, and the wide desert skies, like the land beneath them, are compromised and endangered. Two Open Doors in a Field is exhilarating and restless, as scrupulous in its attention to our little roads and highways as it is to our longings.”—Mark Doty

“Sophie Klahr’s poems are perpetual motion machines, stunning in all the ways they blaze through landscapes of adoration and epiphany and ache. From intimate sonnets to panoramic lyric sequences, from Jurassic seas to the spectral glow of motel pools and ‘pulses of song’ beneath a ‘dark bowl of stars,’ this synaptic second collection carries us across ‘deep time’ and its thresholds.”—R. A. Villanueva

“A road map for those of us needing to connect to the world around us, particularly in an era when we’ve felt so isolated from human connection. Like the Virgil of this journey, Terence, Klahr, too, finds nothing human foreign to her. . . . The road is long, the night wears on, but we have ‘a place to sleep in her hands.’”—A. Van Jordan

“Sophie Klahr’s spare twenty-first-century sonnets track a drift toward and away from attachment across a beautifully drawn, often desolate landscape. It’s a national myth, the lonesome rider...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781496232373
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 74

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Average rating from 11 members


Featured Reviews

An introspective, cathartic book of poetry that challenges the reader to examine their life in the minutia. I loved this.

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3.5/5

I enjoyed reading this, and I loved the format of the different trips and radio stations. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Alice isn’t dead. However, aside from a few of the poems, I didn’t really feel anything one way or another about the poems.

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Liked:
I do like the beautiful imagery and some of the metaphors and the feeling of nostalgia, as well as the home-y vibe it had. I also liked the concept of the road trips and the radio.

Disliked:
For the most part, I didn't feel anything reading the passages which really affected my mood over the book but I did highlight lines that were beautiful. It wasn't anything that resonated with me and some I didn't understand completely. So overall the biggest dislike for me that stood out was not feeling moved by most or all of the passages.

Favorite lines:
"When you said it will always be uneven between us, I heard a new word for a field impossible to measure"

"Love is short , forgetting is so long."

"I told him: This was once a sea. As were you, he said."

"Everything dies and that's how it should be, isn't it? Too early gone, or too long suffering—it's what we claim loss to be, but even loss is the wrong word. For what is there, is and what is not, we still live with."

Overall Thoughts:
I usually love poetry books and I really did want to like this since the poems do give off a home-y vibe, but this wasn't for me. It did have a few great passages and some really beautiful lines, but that was really it, since it wasn't anything magnificent.

Recommendation:
I dislike not being able to recommend a book to anyone as I do believe that some could love this book so if you like the summary you could give it go, but personally speaking, it feels like a book that you can pass.

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This forthcoming poetry collection traverses American roads, in some ways revising Kerouac from a queer woman’s vantage point. In sonnets that are so fluid that I often forgot they were sonnets, Klahr thinks about solitude and relationships on open, interior roads. She listens to the radio, contemplates separation, masculinity and her father, Christianity and whiteness. There’s a special love here for Nebraska, which she returns to again and again. The most common action verb was “driving,” but the most common activity, really, was thinking. This is a lovely entry to the canon of American road literature.

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Thank You Netgalley and the publishers for sending me and allowing me to read this E-ARC.
This was fine but I've definitely read better.

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