Bin Ramke


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The Man without a Body -- As If the Past -- Practical Linguistics -- Tricks -- Thin Soup -- More's the Pity -- Matters of Time -- Never to Heaven Go -- The New Geometry and the Little Blue Heron -- Swellings of Style, Parts of Speech -- "The Uses of Enchantment" - Bruno Bettelheim -- Like Ulysses -- War Crimes -- Elegy as Algorithm: Seasonal Lamentation -- Genius Engine -- The Future as If -- When Culture Was Popular -- Art. Love. Geology -- The Little Flowers -- Melting Pot -- Further Documentation -- The Consolations of Grammar -- The Center for Atmospheric Research -- Summer as a Verb, Nantucket as an Island -- An Algebra of Innocence -- He Dreams of a Cruise -- In Layman's Terms -- A Tree Full of Fish


Massacre of the Innocents is the work of a secular poet who admires the basic texts - the angry qualities of fairytales equally along with the humorous virtues of sacred scriptures. Speaking with the voice of mature accomplishment, Ramke's poems do not struggle for their words but release them from a near-inexhaustible source. As Ramke has said, "Poems are like children and have minds and manners of their own, luckily beyond the control of parents and poets." These poems talk back and they talk to each other. By stripping away the distractions of received meaning from the words he uses, Ramke makes the necessary connection between reader and poem that can freshen meaning - make it new - as is often claimed for poetry but seldom achieved so well as in his work.

Series Title

Iowa poetry prize

Award Date


Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages

x, 83

ISBN of Print Version



Copyright 1995 Bin Ramke

Massacre of the innocents: poems