Poetry. Simply one of the most admired and imitated poets of her generation, Lisa Jarnot's third volume of poetry does what only Jarnot can do. Decidedly lyrical, always reliant on repetition and rhythm, what emergies in this book is a catalog of loves and laments: "Just the eldergrass and him, the fog, unpoliced and safe inside the train, the thoughts of rain, Apollo, and the sun..." As Stan Brackage has said of Jarnot, "[H]er words are never severed from the means that engendered them; and the consequent meanings are never detached from the meditative drama of each whole poem."
Mantra and echolalia, playground rhymes, Gertrude Stein-esque repetitions and Blakean mysticism sit uneasily-and inspiringly-beside deep lyric purpose and antiwar protest in this exuberant third full collection. Jarnot (Ring of Fire), whose biography of the charismatic California poet Robert Duncan will appear in 2005, splits the volume into four quasi-independent sequences. The first (not quite self-mockingly entitled "Early and Uncollected Poems") flourishes an array of comic moments: "Oh, Canada, you are melancholy today/ and so am I." "My Terrorist Notebook" comprises brief, often sarcastic political works, dedicated to (among others) Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush ("The chicken wing factory is lit up in flames"). A third sequence, "They," organizes a sort of fugue around the phrase "They loved," bringing in prose blocks and a deliberately frustrating sestina for cumulative elegiac effect, as if all that "they" loved would soon be lost. In the fourth and strongest sequence, "Black Dog Songs," quatrains and couplets based on Blake (and Edward Lear) strain to squeeze free of prose meaning: "the shift of stars in otter light,/ the twilight chicked limbs delight." Side by side with such incantations, however, quieter poems explore hopes and regrets: the subtle lyric called "Lisa Jarnot" surely deserves to end up in many anthologies. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.27 (d)
Meet the Author
Lisa Jarnot is the author of NIGHT SCENES (Flood Editions, 2008), THE ILIAD BOOK XXII: THE DEATH OF HECTOR (Book Thug, 2007), REPTILE HOUSE (Book Thug, 2006), BLACK DOG SONGS (Flood Editions, 2003), THE EIGHTFOLD PATH (A+Bend Press, 2000), and SOME OTHER KIND OF MISSION (Burning Deck, 1996). She lives in New York City and is the owner and operator of Catskill Organics Farm.