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The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning
     

The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning

by Richard Jones
 

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“Jones can be stunning, effortlessly finding the right tone.”—The Village Voice

Richard Jones examines the details of daily life as though through a child’s eyes, taking in every wondrous moment as if time were nonexistent, yet with the intensely painful understanding that the elemental world of the family is fleeting. Jones, who is

Overview

“Jones can be stunning, effortlessly finding the right tone.”—The Village Voice

Richard Jones examines the details of daily life as though through a child’s eyes, taking in every wondrous moment as if time were nonexistent, yet with the intensely painful understanding that the elemental world of the family is fleeting. Jones, who is strongly influenced by Rilke and Keats, is a master of metaphor who can transform mundane things into sacred objects.

Richard Jones is the author of ten books of poetry and criticism and founding editor of the literary magazine Poetry East. He teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jones is nothing if not sincere, and his fluent free verse and glowing prose poems pursue some very traditional goals: “I tell my students I don't have the wisdom/ to explain beauty and mystery,” he declares, but beauty and mystery are what he finds, commemorating parents and friends, contemplating the art of poetry, and celebrating his young children—his son, William, for example, and “the Zen wisdom of his six-year-old mind.” Jones (Apropos of Nothing) writes clear lines imbued with a serious optimism and an American informality, ready to make his “silver pencil sharpener” a fit symbol of “the marriage of utility and beauty.” This sixth book celebrates marriage and family, as it celebrates the everyday: it interrupts the quest for “exact meaning” with a set of witty short poems about punctuation. Even there, though, Jones reaches for things of the spirit: a dash is “on headstones/ the life”; the signs “<>“ are “what he” (i.e., Jesus) “wrote with his finger in the dirt.” As articulate as he can be, Jones pays homage to a numinous—sometimes, a Christian—presence greater than words: “if that's what it takes to hold/ pure poetry in my hand,” one poem decides, “I'll become like a child/ waiting to decipher/ text messages from God.” (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556593178
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Jones is the author of ten books of poetry and criticism and editor of Poetry East. He teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.

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