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Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli
This first appearance of Pascoli’s poems in English translation provides an introduction to his work for the English-speaking reader. The first section of the book includes some of Pascoli’s brief lyric poems, many of them displaying his innovative use of image narrative. We see scenes of country life in his village near Barga, Italy, in the Apuan Alps, at the end of the 19th century. We see the aurora borealis, chickens, donkeys, women hanging laundry, the new railway and men crushing wheat. The second part of the book consists of three somewhat formal narrative poems set in classical Rome and Greece. The book ends with a long narrative sequence, an exciting and poignant re-imagining of Odysseus’ famous tale told from the perspective of an old man. The aging hero falls asleep by the fire with Penelope and dreams a final voyage, in which he reassembles his old crew and visits the scenes of his earlier adventures: Circe, the Sirens, the Cyclops, Lotus Eaters and Calypso.
Letters to Guns examines the para-physical natures of love and history, at times re-imagining both. As the poems progress, eight letters arrive written by non-human addressees (a nightgown, a grove of trees, a wooden spoon, others) at random points over the last 2,200 years. They are messages from home and pleas for understanding, warnings and promises of change. These in turn ignite other poems and themes which anticipate the next arrival. Taken together, the letters form an armature, a living skeleton fleshed by real and metaphenomenal experience. Throughout, a variety of styles appears and no single approach to poetry pervades. Singly, these poems should challenge and entertain. As a group they must transform and evolve our experience of sitting down with a book of poems.
A Life Above Water is a cycle of poems that examines both the natural and human worlds and explores the boundaries between the two. The manuscript is concerned with personal ecologies and mythologies—the ways that things are interconnected and the stories that we create to explain those connections. The manuscript is arranged in three concentric sections, each subsequent division nesting within the previous one. The reader is drawn into the broad, inclusive view of “All These Indigestible Parts” with its focus on the animals of the forest and birds of the air, the apparent cruelty of the natural world and that which is human about the animal—through “Fellowship and Baked Goods” which looks at peopled communities and the ways we interact with one another, to the tighter, more personal focus of “The Great Slowing” and its themes of loss, shortcoming and redemption. The poems are individually free-standing and complete, but taken as a whole form a broad yet detailed portrait of the world around us and our place within it. By turns analytical, scientific, lyrical, whimsical and spiritual, A Life Above Water is a book that fits neatly into the canon of contemporary poetry while offering a unique, fresh and accessible perspective.
The culmination of a ten-year career in falconry, Lift is a memoir that illustrates the journey and life lessons of a woman navigating a man's ancient sport. Captivated by a chance meeting with a falconer's peregrine as a child, the indelible memory eventually brings the author's life full circle to flying a peregrine of her own. Exploring themes of predator and prey, finding tribe, forgiveness and femininity, the memoir asks universal questions through a unique backdrop. Lift illustrates the beauty and meaning the sport of falconry can add to a falconer's life, echoing the challenges and triumphs of being human.
This sequence of fifty 14-line poems uses the Zapruder Film of President Kennedy's murder as a prism through which to view America and the world. Refracted rays touch on crime and punishment; guilt and responsibility; charisma and love; the dying victim's experience during the stretched-out seconds of his violation and death; and the dark world of war profiteering, narco-traffic, and deceit where the facts of power determine history. Epic tradition (e.g., Homer, Dante, Milton) shares these pages with science, religion, and popular culture, now funny and now horrifying. Limousine, Midnight Blue is a haunted book about a haunted film of an event whose hungry ghosts still walk the American unconscious, rattling their chains louder every year.
love belongs to those who do the feeling—an exciting collection of new and selected poetry by Judy Grahn. The book contains selections from Judy's entire body of poetic work from “The Work of a Common Woman”, “The Queen of Wands and The Queen of Swords”, to new poems written between 1997 and 2008. Judy's poetry is rangy and provocative. It has been written at the heart of so many of the important social movements of the last forty years that the proper word is foundational—Judy Grahn's poetry is foundational to the spirit of movement. People consistently report that Judy's poetry is also uplifting—an unexpected side effect of work that is aimed at the mind as well as the heart. Judy continues to insist that love goes beyond romance, to community, and that community goes beyond the everyday world, to the connective worlds of earth and spirit.
The Luckless Age stands at the end of the nuclear era, a bridge between the anxiety of the Cold War and the false hope of “morning in America.” It tours the beautiful desolation of America’s urban nightscape, as reported from the mosh pit and the boardroom, the bedroom and the bar. Its voice emerges above the white noise of modern broadcasting to paint a portrait of America at once brutal, honest, and yet hopeful at its core. The Luckless Age is a celebration of the intricate rituals we build to connect with our lovers, our rivals, and our past.
In Peter Gordon's debut collection Man Receives Letter, the fragility and mystery of human relationships are explored between husbands and wives, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and colleagues at work. Originally published in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, The Yale Review, The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere, these stories have earned a Pushcart Prize, inclusion in literary anthologies and multiple citations on the distinguished stories list that is part of the annual Best American Short Stories series.
Many Ways to Say It, a collection of lyric poems, is a series of prayers, cries, dispatches, observational records, secret messages, weather reports, daily logs, love poems, trespasses, confessions, letters, and songs. A trained marine biologist, Eva Saulitis uses poetry as a tool to push past the laws of biology—objectivity and detachment—to get as close as she can get to the harsh inner and outer place she calls home. Though chosen, for her, place requires constant re-negotiation and exploration. Living for more than two decades in coastal Alaska is like an arranged marriage, rife with ambivalence and risk, desire and loss. The poems portray the difficult process of this kind of marriage, of “marrying this chunk of earth / the seasons, mud, and crack-up.” Close observation of natural phenomena is both the poet’s and the biologist’s method. Thus these poems are dispatches from inner and outer wilderness: white-outs, mountain tops, swamps, muskegs, ecotones, and woods. The lover, a second character in the poems, is human and animal, flesh and mineral, mind and earth, heart and weather. Ultimately, Many Ways to Say It is an unscientific investigation into the wild animal that is the self, its contradictions, urges, demands, and terrors, and its desire for self-definition. But it is only by studying the wild without—through encounters with, say, a moose, a mountain, a coyote, a pond—that the poet comes to terms with the wild, and untouchable, within.
In these lyrical meditations on fame and death, Anne Coray celebrates the making of art and the gifts of language while reminding us that worldly pursuits are folly. These are poems for the bereaved, to be read at funerals and wakes or during the course of any ordinary day, offering insights on loss and longing that are oddly comforting. Oddly, because there are deep and oftentimes contradictory emotions at play here, but also hard-won reconciliation.