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Brooklyn Antediluvian: Poems
     

Brooklyn Antediluvian: Poems

by Patrick Rosal
 

Patrick Rosal’s brilliant fourth collection of poems is ignited by the frictions of our American moment. In the face of relentless violence and deepening racial division, Rosal responds with his own brand of bare-knuckled beauty.
Rosal finds trouble he isn’t asking for in his unforgettable new poems, whether in New York City, Austin, Texas, or the

Overview

Patrick Rosal’s brilliant fourth collection of poems is ignited by the frictions of our American moment. In the face of relentless violence and deepening racial division, Rosal responds with his own brand of bare-knuckled beauty.
Rosal finds trouble he isn’t asking for in his unforgettable new poems, whether in New York City, Austin, Texas, or the colonized Philippines of his ancestors. But trouble is everywhere, and Rosal, acclaimed author of My American Kundiman, responds in kind, pulling no punches in his most visceral, physical collection to date. “My hand’s quick trip from my hip to your chin, across / your face, is not the first free lesson I’ve given,” Rosal writes, and it’s true—this new book is full of lessons, hard-earned, from a poet who nonetheless finds beauty in the face of violence.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/18/2016
In his boisterous fourth book, Rosal (Boneshepherds) writes odes to notions of home, family, and the transcendent joy in music and dance, among other subjects. The Brooklynite turned Philadelphian opens the collection with a nod to his former borough, and as the book flows he addresses his childhood in New Jersey as well as his family and ancestors in the Philippines. Rosal’s lines bob and weave with an effortless unpredictability. In an ode to the turntable, he shows off his extraordinary ear for poetry’s sonic qualities, in particular rhythm and consonance: “Our hands cut Bach to Bambaataa// and made a dance hall jump.” Even at their best, the poems leading up to the book’s final offering, the title poem, feel like rehearsals that preface an earth-shattering performance; once there, Rosal seamlessly stitches together history, mythology, etymology, and autobiography in a winding narrative that begins with a teenage boy commenting on the speaker’s sweatshirt and transforms into a treatise on colonialism and all that a name can and cannot hold: “You might see multitudes/ come, not to watch the field but to reclaim it,// to slash a path all the way back to the tables/ we first fashioned, to present our gruesome// harvest to our governors who—no surprise—/refuse to listen.” (May)
Library Journal
04/01/2016
In 2011's Boneshepherds, award-winning poet Rosal ranged widely from the Japanese occupation of his father's homeland to street fights, spinets, and sex shops. This work, a farewell to the untamable New York outer borough of Brooklyn, is just as adept at capturing landscapes and their attendant emotions. From skaters "igniting/ tight fires" to violets ("a small flash of welts") discovered on Lafayette Street to a quick trip up to Manhattan's East Side, where music groans and the atmosphere is nervy, Rosal captures a young man's sojourn through a tough but dynamic world. Rosal is excellent at capturing uncertainty and bravado ("I thought/ hard was the mad-dog you could send/ across a crowded bar") as he edges toward sadder but wiser. In the background, music keeps beating. VERDICT Not just for with-it readers and Brooklynites; most poetry lovers will enjoy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892554744
Publisher:
Persea Books
Publication date:
05/03/2016
Pages:
80
Sales rank:
872,306
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Rosal is the author of fourfull-length poetry collections. His most recent,Boneshepherds,
was named a small press highlight by the National Book Critics Circle and a notable book by the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Rutgers–Camden and lives in Philadelphia.

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