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Strung throughout the book are poems based on the Scottish photographer Eadwaerd Muybridge's Animal Locomotion, a historic photographic document. Pettit uses these pioneering images as the basis for his poetic dreaming, and the result is a poignant, integrated sequence of highly moving poems, studded between other vivid lyrics.
Steeped in a high-octane mythos, Jason Bredle's Carnival lets every inch of the world surge with delight and sorrow. The result is a collection of poems that thrills by framing an accurate snapshot of the human condition at its most absurd and joyful. This is book where boundaries don't exist, where people just might bring onions and Grand Marnier to the beach or a transient may be spotted spooning a raccoon in a back yard, and we are all the happier for it.
The poems in Cartographies travel new territory, exploring the heart’s changeable geography and the soul’s uneven terrain. They map the familiar, sometimes astonishing, and always complex world of the poet’s native San Gabriel Mountains, as well as nearby Los Angeles, with its cultural richness and social/political tensions. Divided into four sections—The Soul, The Self, Mountains, The City—Cartographies investigates and fathoms our most profound relationships with time, nature, love, and death. In poem after poem, Simon finds meaning in unexpected locales, from a hospital AIDS ward to the “Rorschach” on a butterfly’s wings to a barrio bakery, and in the briefest of moments, evoked by the plaintive voice of a spider, or provoked by a breathless escape from an avalanche. With clarity and eloquence, these poems dramatize the persistent paradoxes present in our daily lives, those interstices of yearning and mourning, fear and celebration, or anguish and amazement that reveal the deep wells and turbulence of human consciousness. With consummate craftsmanship and inner grace, Simon apprehends the elegiac within the purest moments of joy, and intimates catharsis within despair. She opens the mind’s windows to myriad small miracles provoked by the barest glimmers of wonder and hope.
A Collection of Collage Poems
As Gertrude Stein might have put it, a cento is a collage is a mix tape is a video montage. This hypothetical description is fitting in a number of ways. Although the cento form is ancient—in existence since at least the days of Virgil and Homer—it was also used to striking effect in the Modern era: consider, for example, T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Ezra Pound's Cantos. More recent centos include John Ashbery's "The Dong with the Luminous Nose," Peter Gizzi's "Ode: Salute to The New York School 1950-1970" (a libretto), Connie Hershey's "Ecstatic Permutations," and the "Split This Rock Poetry Festival - Cento, March 23, 2008" (a collaborative protest poem delivered in front of the White House). The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems, edited by Theresa Malphrus Welford and with an introduction by David Lehman, features an extensive sampling of centos, collage poems, and patchwork poems written by Nicole Andonov, Lorna Blake, Alex Cigale, Allan Douglass Coleman, Philip Dacey, Sharon Dolin, Annie Finch, Jack Foley, Kate Gale, Dana Gioia, Sam Gwynn, H. L. Hix, David Lehman, Eric Nelson, Catherine Tufariello, and many others.
Pound, Brecht, Tel Quel
The American poet Ezra Pound, the German playwright Bertolt Brecht, and the writers associated with the Parisian avant-garde literary journal Tel Quel, in particular, developed passions for China. Hayot examines these writers' infatuation with China, demonstrating that Pound, Brecht, and the writers of Tel Quel looked east and found a new vision for both themselves and the West. While Chinese Dreams focuses on specific writers' relationships with China, it also calls into question the means of representing otherness. Chinese Dreams asks if it might be possible to attend to the political meaning of imagining the other, while still enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of such dreaming. Eric Hayot is Assistant Professor of English, the University of Arizona.
In Cinema Muto, Jesse Lee Kercheval examines the enduring themes of time, mortality, and love as revealed through the power of silent film. Following the ten days of the annual Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Italy, this collection of ekphrastic poems are love letters to the evocative power of silent cinema. Kercheval’s poems elegantly capture the allure of these rare films, which compel hundreds of pilgrims from around the world—from scholars and archivists, to artists and connoisseurs—to flock to Italy each autumn. Cinema Muto celebrates the flickering tales of madness and adventure, drama and love, which are all too often left to decay within forgotten vaults. As reels of Mosjoukine and D. W. Griffith float throughout the collection, a portrait also emerges of the simple beauty of Italy in October and of two lovers who are drawn together by their mutual passion for an extinct art. Together they revel in recapturing “the black and white gestures of a lost world.”
Cinema Muto is a tender tribute to the brief yet unforgettable reign of silent film. Brimming with stirring images of dreams, desire, and the ghosts of cinema legends gone by, Kercheval’s verse is a testament to the mute beauty and timeless lessons that may still be discovered in a fragile roll of celluloid.
The poems in Circles Where the Head Should Be are full of objects and oddities, bits of news, epic catalogues, and a cast of characters hoping to make sense of it all. Underneath the often whimsical surface, however, lies a search for those connections we long for but so often miss, and a wish for art to bridge the gaps. “Circles Where the Head Should Be has its own distinctive voice, a lively intelligence, insatiable curiosity, and a decided command of form. These qualities play off one another in ways that instruct and delight. An irresistible book.”—J. D. McClatchy, author of Mercury Dressing: Poems, judge
“When you open this book, expect serious role-playing and syntactic tap dancing. The City She Was presents a world that brings ‘the horizon line into your lexicon’ and a poet’s muse (‘The Endangered You’) is lent to a friend and returned ‘a little more frayed.’ Giménez Smith muddles and enchants with her many masks, leaving the ground a little less stable under our feet.” —Matthea Harvey, author of Modern Life, Sad Little Breathing Machine, and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form
“The human body has only five senses but The City She Was reroutes the architecture of experience so effectively that the reader is awarded a new unnamed sense, a soft power, one that reprioritizes our outdated reality with the gathering infrastructure of the geography of language. The whole aggressive world is this book’s only enemy, and no one tricks absurdity into form, reality into abstraction, injustice into stylized verdict, and contemporary popular culture into a useful, heroic trap of surreal-her-wholeness like Carmen Giménez Smith.”—Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of Skin, Inc. and The Maverick Room
The romance begins with the marriage of Cligès's parents and continues with the clandestine, mutual love of their son and his uncle's bride, Fenice. Cligès and Fenice are finally united after executing a false-death plot aided by black magic.
With a thoroughness and clarity that will appeal to students and scholars of medieval literature, Cline's accessible translation effectively conveys the sparkle, pace, and intricate wordplay of Chrétien's love monologues, classic themes, and complex poetic devices. In addition, her introduction sheds new light on the transmission of British history and legend to the French court of Champagne. With themes that echo from the Tristan legend to Romeo and Juliet, Cligès is an exciting romance about young lovers who escape from an arranged match and find true love in marriage.