Green is the Orator

Overview


Green is the Orator follows on Sarah Gridley’s brilliant first collection, Weather Eye Open, in addressing the challenge of representing nature through language. Gridley’s deftly original syntax arises from direct experience of the natural world and from encounters with other texts, including the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” and the writings of Charles Darwin, Peter Mark Roget, William Morris, William James, and Henri Bergson. Gridley’s own idiom is compressed, original, and full of unexpected pleasures. This ...
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Green is the Orator

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Overview


Green is the Orator follows on Sarah Gridley’s brilliant first collection, Weather Eye Open, in addressing the challenge of representing nature through language. Gridley’s deftly original syntax arises from direct experience of the natural world and from encounters with other texts, including the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” and the writings of Charles Darwin, Peter Mark Roget, William Morris, William James, and Henri Bergson. Gridley’s own idiom is compressed, original, and full of unexpected pleasures. This unusual book, at once austere and full of life, reflects a penetrating mind at work—one that is thinking through and re-presenting romantic and modernist traditions of nature.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Unusually varied, usually sparkling, and always a bit of a challenge, this second outing from Gridley (Weather Eye Open) pivots ably between an introspection alert to the workings of language and a sustained attention to environmental fact. Long, careful lines in the first part of the volume emphasize botany or ecology: “Doubt put off, put on as leaves. Where spoils undress/ the weeping beech and go in circles inside it.” Like Forrest Gander, Gridley uses technical terms freely, and yet connects them to the shifting states of her own mind: “To blossom is thoughtless,” she says when she sees “touch-me-nots”; “thus we barely have room/ for each other.” Gridley also delves into philosophy, phenomenology, and even philology, the study of the history of words, in poems inspired by the life and accomplishments of Peter Mark Roget (as in Roget's Thesaurus), whose adventures with nitrous oxide get almost as much space as his arrangements of words. Gridley has also written a lyrical book, whose unrhymed sonnets, fragments, and quasi-odes make good use of traditional tools—condensation, analogy, mystery: “It was left to the ocean to matchstick the hull/ left to the darkroom to develop the trees.” (Apr.)
Kenyon Review

“Orator’s speech springs from revelation and desire, but its heart is in its observational exactness and reticence.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520262416
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2010
  • Series: New California Poetry Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Sarah Gridley is Assistant Professor and Poet in Residence at Case Western Reserve University and is the author of Weather Eye Open (UC Press).
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Table of Contents


Contents

1
Coefficient
Salt Marsh, Thick with Behaviors
Table of Consanguinity (The Cousin Chart)
Diminution of the Clear Thing
Half Seas Over
Jardins sous la Ppluie
Sweet Habit of the Blood
Is He Decently Put Back Together?
Under the Veil of Wildness
Coming to the Festival of the God of Boundaries
Makes an Arrangement
Return of the Native to the Widespread Hour
Midlander
Thicket Play
Honey Ants
Recessive
Sending Owls to Athens
William James, Henry James
Arethusa
Arrowsic
Eidothea
Sunrise with Sea Monsters
Where Hardly Hearth Exists

2
Sonnet on Fire
The Bad Infinity
Baroque
Miscellany
Baroque
A General Discrimination of Synonyms
Baroque
Antonyms & Intermediaries
Baroque
First Inspirations of the Nitrous Oxide, Pneumatic Institute, 1799
Baroque
Second Inspirations of the Nitrous Oxide

3
Disheveled Holiness
Medieval Physics
A Boredom of Spirit
Gothic Tropical
Film in Place of a Legal Document
Japonisme
Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
Acousmatic
The Orator’s Maximal Likelihood
The Beauty of Where We Have Been Living
Anatomy of Listening
Sighting
If It Be Not Now
Ovation
Morse Gives Up Portraiture
Intrinsic
Intimations
Constable of the Sweet Oblong
Work
Salon/Saloon
Strokes
Building Box (Atlantic)
Posthumous
Oratorium
Summer Reading

Notes
Acknowledgments

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