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Threshold Songs (Wesleyan Poetry) Hardcover – 15 Oct 2011
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"Gizzi is insistently absurd, relishing in moves that duck away from sense just as he is about to make it, lest he paint himself into a corner. But the poems always have heart, a brave, insistent music."--Steven Karl, Coldfront
."..he differentiates himself...by pushing his poems toward a place where the making of meaning is st ill his foremost desire, especially in this, his fifth, and most personal book." --Publishers Weekly
" he differentiates himself by pushing his poems toward a place where the making of meaning is st ill his foremost desire, especially in this, his fifth, and most personal book." Publishers Weekly
Times Literary Supplement"
The New Yorker"
Gizzi s fifth collection, is his most profoundly rueful and wildly humoured work to date. This is a wintry un gathering of poems, sung in the name of Tradition & The Indivisible Talent a company whose ghosts include Basil Bunting, W.S. Graham and the late R.F. Langley. Best Books of 2011, Times Literary Supplement"
(Gizzi s) innovation has been to treat the lyric like a big radio antenna, simultaneously transmitting and receiving eerie broadcasts from the air. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker"
Peter Gizzi s poems have always walked a line between stylized opacity and friendly, if melancholy, accessibility, enacting an argument about whether language is esoteric or generic, personal or public, our salvation from commerce or hopelessly commoditized. This argument is at the heart of much contemporary poetry, but for Gizzi it also represents an interior struggle between the need to disclose emotion with words and the need to hide it behind words. The interplay between these two ideas has never been stronger than in his new collection" Craig Morgan Teicher, Bookforum"
About the Author
PETER GIZZI is the author of six collections of poetry including Threshold Songs and In Defense of Nothing. He works at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The poems are brilliant hard worked meditations on what it is to think and feel and remember,
to study others along side ourselves.
Gizzi's style is dizzying in the same way that a painting beginning to drool is dizzying--his phantom like dissection table of poems, really in no one fixed form, is like reading a chat between a man and Kant's "The Thing In Itself". Example, and my personal favorite:
"A GHOST CARD FOR ROBERT"
What do you see when you see a dress sounding in deep indigo, a head made of text, a paper halo torn about the head.
What do you see when you see the shape of a hare and a galaxy, a river and some rushes, when you see the outline of the hare and its positive adrift.
What do you see when you read left to right, a cartoon boy on a cartoon lawn, arms outstretched, when you see the word SUN in block capitals over there, a shaft of whiteout above the hare leaping into an unked heart into a ghost boy into a green ray into space.
You'll see the read and blue shift, you'll see orbiting patterns, and now you see a woman buried in sepia with child."
This is verbal wizardry at it's highest, recalling Wallace Stevens at his most obscure and most brilliant, and Hart Crane at his best. One could too easily categorize this as "conceptual poetry"--I think that pigeonholes what Gizzi has accomplished here. It is a manifesto of sensory deprivation and acclimation, a waterboarding of complacency, a pyrotechnic show of prosody--all that and more. Absolutely recommended to any lover of poetry.