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It Becomes You: Poems
     

It Becomes You: Poems

5.0 1
by Dobby Gibson
 

"Dobby Gibson's poetry . . . is equal parts tender, triumphant, exhilarating, disturbing, and thought provoking: it's fantastic." (The Corresponder)

* Shortlisted for the Believer Poetry Award *

From the backs of the books I love and am terrified by,
the great thinkers stare back at me with little encouragement.
I am prepared to

Overview

"Dobby Gibson's poetry . . . is equal parts tender, triumphant, exhilarating, disturbing, and thought provoking: it's fantastic." (The Corresponder)

* Shortlisted for the Believer Poetry Award *

From the backs of the books I love and am terrified by,
the great thinkers stare back at me with little encouragement.
I am prepared to follow them anywhere!
—from "Ago"

Meditative, lyrical, aphoristic, and always leavened with a wry wit, the poems in Dobby Gibson's It Becomes You explore the divergent conditions by which we're perpetually defined—the daily weather, the fluctuations of the Dow, the growth of a cancer cell, the politics of the day. What surrounds us becomes us, Gibson suggests, in a book that will ultimately become you.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gibson (Skirmish) got noticed for his first two books, which combined a sparky, bizarre postsurrealism with an understated, familiar sadness. This third outing might be his best; it’s surely his plainest—the sadness, and its attendant wisdom, can take over. Here is Gibson’s version of human progress, from “After the Slap, Before the Apology”: “First we invent stuff,/ then we invent stuff to make that stuff/ freeing up our time to worry about what to do next.” And here are lovely yet drab observations from the long title poem: “Another silence ends in conversation./.../ We’re furiously inventing millions of new ways/ to stay exactly the same.” Gibson’s conversational diction and free verse line are nothing if not contemporary, but his willingness to face disappointment connects these poems less to models like Dean Young (addressed in one beautiful homage) than to late Wallace Stevens and early Mark Strand. And the volume, for all its gray tones, resignations, and off-white skies, has consolation aplenty— domestic satisfactions, witty one-liners, and the real beauties of its settings among them. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“Poems of grace and invention. . . . In Gibson's hands the lyric form becomes enlivened. This is his most generous and assured volume to date.” —The Believer Poetry Award, Editors' Shortlist

“The dry wit of Gibson's poetry crackles. . . . Gibson is a Minneapolis ad man, and whatever he's selling, we're buying.” —Minnesota Monthly, "The Best Books and Music of the Winter"

“Gibson is more than a turner of clever phrases. There is a real tenderness at the heart of his work. . . . Gibson deftly quilts witty observation with moments of lyric intensity.” —Star Tribune

“[Gibson's] poems remind me of Billy Collins or Mark Strand. . . . At their best, they reflect the sharp humor of Auden, who makes tight lines appear effortlessly conversational.” —New Pages

“This third outing might be [Gibson's] best . . . . Gibson's conversational diction and free verse line are nothing if not contemporary, but his willingness to face disappointment connects these poems less to models like Dean Young (addressed in one beautiful homage) than to late Wallace Stevens and early Mark Strand. And the volume, for all its gray tones, resignations, and off-white skies, has consolation aplenty--domestic satisfactions, witty one-liners, and the real beauties of its settings among them.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Gibson is] playful, mysterious, wry, humorous, sad, full bodied and adventurous. Maybe that's enough for one lifetime; yet, Gibson is also master of the soliloquy in poetry, and the dramatic monologue, shrewd with perception. . . . Full-bore language becomes poetry that you surely do not want to miss.” —Washington Independent Review of Books

Library Journal
This latest from Beatrice Hawley Award- winner Gibson (Polar) is full of pithy phrases that, taken alone, will delight readers. Consider these lines from "The First American": "the act of/ breathing is little more than the ability/ to recover from running out of breath." Or these from "Maybe Minorly": "And as when the worst of the storm finally arrives—/ which is also the best of the storm—/ night falls." Unfortunately, these lines—so pleasingly organic and nebulously connected—do not occur often enough. Gibson's impulse is to finagle the poems toward narrative closure, as in "The Minneapolis Poem," when reaching the airport the speaker thinks: "strangers/ will search my body and find nothing except this poem, perhaps forgotten in my back pocket." Clearly the poem was not forgotten. In fact, the speaker's tendency to keep mentioning writing will pull many readers out of several otherwise engaging poems. VERDICT Best described as inconsistent, the poems here are caught quite severely between two styles—clear narrative (think Tony Hoagland) and epigrammatic phraseology (think Dean Young)—and to the disappointment of the reader finally settle on neither.—Stephen Morrow, Hilliard, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555976323
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Dobby Gibson is the author of two previous poetry books, Skirmish and Polar. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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It Becomes You: Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get on the Dobby Gibson bus! Quirky and insightful, this talented author's poems will dazzle you with their insights of both the mundane and large issues in life. They move quickly, dancing from idea to idea, image to image, but never forgetting to bring the reader along on the ride. Ranging from funny and light to deeply serious, these powerfully potent poems will capture your attention. Highly recommended