Green Sees Things in Waves: Poems
  • Green Sees Things in Waves: Poems
  • Green Sees Things in Waves: Poems

Green Sees Things in Waves: Poems

by August Kleinzahler
     
 

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1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In this powerful and inventive collection, August Kleinzahler succeeds in creating a new idiom for American lyric poetry that captures the velocity and swerves of contemporary life in the city. He pushes the language very hard to get there, and the results are breathtaking: an

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Overview

1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In this powerful and inventive collection, August Kleinzahler succeeds in creating a new idiom for American lyric poetry that captures the velocity and swerves of contemporary life in the city. He pushes the language very hard to get there, and the results are breathtaking: an angular, propulsive poetry that transforms character, voice, and setting into buzzing, luminous events.

Editorial Reviews

Boston Book Review DeSales Harrison
[Kleinzahler's] best successes are just as crisp and pungent as Pound's most startling images.
Salon Albert Mobilio
This new book is full of off-kilter yet dead-on observations that hover just above our recognition until their very sound trips the brainwire and the 'little truth' falls into place.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kleinzahler's casual manner belies his subtle, capacious sense of what lyric can do. His new poems depict a frisky, smart-alecky dog who is an expert on WWI poets; a pair of elderly, stranded small-town muses; the headachy ex-acidhead of the title; and the cute "little toughies" on Sunday morning streets. Longer poems analyze Chinese medicine; mull over a "bad feeling"("I call it Dolph"); and describe the light on the New Jersey Palisades. As in his last book, Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (1995), Kleinzahler shuffles impressionistic, descriptive poems in among rarer subgenres: edgy monologues, dream-visions, beast-fables, epigrams and film noir adventures. His work balances seemingly offhand notation against large elegiac intentions, much as it sets the slang his characters use against comic, or precise, five-dollar words"magisterial," "griseous," "perpend." Drawing for structure and attitude on Frank O'Hara and Wallace Stevens, and for details on Ezra Pound, Thom Gunn and the freewheeling mannerisms of the Beats, Kleinzahler's best poems seem improvisatory, even jotted, at first ("My freight elevator makes a distant whump/ then squeals to a stop on the floors back there/ behind my left ventricle/ OUT OF SERVICE/ for months, I am at first alarmed then refreshed"), but they deepen on rereading, revealing a secret seriousness. Kleinzahler's sometimes friendly, sometimes confrontational tones, winning vigor and idiosyncratic speech rhythms give these ambitious oddities grace and lasting appeal. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Kleinzahlerþs fourth book relies on a wealth of voices and styles, from the hipsterþs scatty lingo to the three-chord cadences of rock-'nþ-roll; his sense of absence in the bleak West recalls the withered artistry of Sam Shepard, while his urban talkers sound like Mametþs sharp chatterers. Kleinzahler exults in the confluence of þaccident and artifice,þ and his casually surreal poems appear more accessible than they are, though the title narrative simply reflects an acid burnoutþs madness, not the refractions of physics. þSnow in New Jerseyþ scans the industrial landscape and declares the past aesthetics of þsocial realismþ as nothing more than an idea in a book. þTanka-Toysþ and þToysþ both riff on youthful pleasures, discovering truth in a spaldeenþs bounce. Taking a cue from the collage art of Joseph Cornell and Ezra Pound, Kleinzahler arranges his images for sonic effect since, as þGlossolalia All the Way to Buffaloþ suggests, þwords come loose/of their moorings and fall apart.þ þ52 Pick-Upþ is little more than a selection of evocative words and phrases, with a tip of the hat to Irwin Coreyþs absurdist semantics. But his funky rhythms and itinerant sights support a wildly original vision.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374525842
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.22(d)

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