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A Burning Interior

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Overview

Since his precocious first book, published when he was eighteen, award-winning David Shapiro's four previous volumes of poetry have been hailed by Kenneth Rexroth, Philip Lopate, and John Ashbery. A Burning Interior offers a restless poetry dense with stories but without mere confession or whimsical surface. It is a collection both universal and, at the same time, powerfully Jewish.

Shapiro's assured voice shows both range and virtuosity-included in this masterful collection are...

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Overview

Since his precocious first book, published when he was eighteen, award-winning David Shapiro's four previous volumes of poetry have been hailed by Kenneth Rexroth, Philip Lopate, and John Ashbery. A Burning Interior offers a restless poetry dense with stories but without mere confession or whimsical surface. It is a collection both universal and, at the same time, powerfully Jewish.

Shapiro's assured voice shows both range and virtuosity-included in this masterful collection are poems for Picasso, translations of Baudelaire and Rilke, amusing "found art poetry," moving elegies, rhymed translations, and dazzling prose poems.

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Editorial Reviews

Harold Bloom
David Shapiro's poetry manifests a never-resting mind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585672714
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

David Shapiro's work regularly appears in The New Yorker, The Partisan Review, and The Paris Review. He has received fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was nominated for the National Book Award.
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Read an Excerpt

A Burning Interior


By David Shapiro

The Overlook Press

Copyright © 2002 David Shapiro
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1585672718


Chapter One

A BURNING INTERIOR

in Memory of John Hejduk

I. Burning Interior of a copy of nothing or more precisely a series of xerox sketches of burning interior-exteriors No one guesses in that rotted century not nothing but grey hints in crayon flecks for bitter perspective produced by a reproductive machine looking at itself as usual askance all the black windows blur into a recessive landscape of secondaries O like the gate into your flowers forty-seven tulips shy of counting then expanding into the scandalous world since there is one to die quickly in color in the tub like Marat smiling and stabbed near the name of art not Skelton to the Present but the child's future from skeleton to the President in this no-place for any angel's perverb ("the hole in my heart leads to the hole that is God-which is deeper") next modulating with words "grey and pink always work" when the bedroom doesn't the Tolstoyan hanging in the sonata of bilingual espressivo repercussions of a hymn to death in variations of an unearthed happiness in lieu of rondo when the circle was smashed by the hymn (no one deserves better to leave that model of a house) where you say I will be kept crucially updated but the undated "soul" held together as if by black hinges or murdered city's black snow I cannot see But I seethe pages of your books opening wildly like the unfinished tulips the excess and potlatch of the sun Return, return to me lost student of the plague II. Old Poems Sinking, below the star-several harps of evening, in one distant garden, the new poem, twisted from the skin of the old whining birch- Perhaps I am also dedicated to an angel's memory her long black hair collected in my bed. Now the youngest poet cries. I love countdowns! I love the last few seconds of joy! But the old poet knows the error in transcription is correct: Nirvana is some sorrow. Remember our last hacked Ariels lie ruined in their melody. Two poems, folded, twisted together. The earliest song: Because you have joined me this great tree was felled. Is it worthless? Because you have joined never to leave again spring has become the spring I had hoped for and this crooked pebble is singing in the forest. But the new poem, the winter flower, is not sweet. III. Wild Psalm In another world, listening to a Yemenite dump Dreaming of Jerusalem our popular flesh, A sleeper a singer whose name is a triple pun A language where skin would be light, It all sounds like the king's first love. But in this world we sit to translate. God splits and the blind man's reference Ends like the war ever not quite. As we forget the grammar we are of red clay, an idiot. The suppliants approach, on the field of untranslatable force. Simone says nothing but: Poetry More difficult than mathematics, as I warned you. And the old poets, and the books appear themselves, Holiness in Sin, that enraged Gershom-the doubled books And the body's words: Blessed is He who created the creation. Blessed are they who created the blessing. IV. The Weak Poet for Michal Govrin When a poet is weak, like a broken microphone, he still has some power, indicated by a red light. The weak poet is fixed to the wall like an ordinary light. Dependent and dismal by turns, he is a nominalist and a razor blade and a light And the demons cry, Cast him from the kingdom for a copy of a copy! Remove him like the women who supported the temple-slaves too free and alive. His similes are ingenious, like science among lovers. My friend, however early you called, you had come too late, again. The weak poet has not gone grey but his sacrificed similes lead nowhere. And his I is like any other word in the newspaper and he is cut up like fashion. Each window was seductive, but even his diseases could be cured. Your low voice alone is major like a skepticism. We had forgotten the place and the stories, and the fiery method, too familiar, too distant. We had memorized the poems, but only for prison. With the first new year celebrated in chaos above the red waters of Paradise. Where a clayey groom hears the bride's voice like a stronger world- Sound is all a snake can do- and charming sense and strangeness Now the old poet loses his voice like a garden. But finds it again, like a street in a garden. In the injured house made of local sun and stone- In the city of numbers which everyone counts and hates and wants- We could read together in a dark city garden, scribbling with language over screens like lips, scribbling the first mistranslations.



Excerpted from A Burning Interior by David Shapiro Copyright © 2002 by David Shapiro
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    'Okay, But Not Great '(3 B&N stars)

    To give credit where credit is due, David is annoying but persistent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2003

    Poetry that I enjoy reading over and over again.

    page 3. Old Poems 'Sinking, below the star-several harps of evening, in one distant garden, the new poem, twisted from the skin of the old whining birch- Perhaps I am also dedicated to an angels memory her long black hair collected on my bed." There os something about these poems that speak to me. Some dark corner begins to emerge and speak. I do not think that I have ever read any of Mr,Shapiro's poems before. I probably never will, but for a few hours they kept me good company as I waited for my medical appointment, a captive audience, ignoring the conversations and the tv in the waiting room. It was interesting the force and confidence and boldness of the images or words or moods. or all of them coming one at a time. Thank you.

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