Night of a Thousand Blossoms

Overview

In these poems, the poet restlessly inhabits the night, finding it terrifying and beautiful, searching for meaning in the yard, the neighborhood, the heavens and every wise book he owns. These urban pastoral meditations employ ritual and repetition to create a kind of mantra, seeking surrender to that state of meditation leading to enlightenment—yet arguing with the idea of surrendering any attachments at all to this world we’ve been given to learn and love: a city garden cohabitated by ancient Romans and ...

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Overview

In these poems, the poet restlessly inhabits the night, finding it terrifying and beautiful, searching for meaning in the yard, the neighborhood, the heavens and every wise book he owns. These urban pastoral meditations employ ritual and repetition to create a kind of mantra, seeking surrender to that state of meditation leading to enlightenment—yet arguing with the idea of surrendering any attachments at all to this world we’ve been given to learn and love: a city garden cohabitated by ancient Romans and tattooed kids, automobiles and hollyhock, maurauding cats and the Buddha. “I should be satisfied with the household gods,” he mourns, but is satisfied with nothing, determined to fit the whole world into his poems lest the one essential thing slip by.

From “The One God is Mysterious”

The king and his queen are feasting. .
They recline, sumptuously, on long divans.
and are attended by naked servants. They.
can have anything they want, this much is.
clear, and I believe they have been having.
sex with one another and with the servants.
Why wouldn’t they? Who among the servants. .
would not be honored to help? And it’s Babylon.
after all, and doesn’t Babylon exist in your.
memory? Isn’t Babylon the clear rumbling.
of your heart at ease with its every craving—.
not the way it is now, fenced off with spiked wire.
and old pipes, with signs telling the pedestrians.
to beware: the litter, the old cans rusting. No, .
this is my own memory of excess and extravagance, .
of abandonment to the weight of everything.
that pulls me down to ruin, those same ticks.
and voices that lift me up and fill me with breath.

“Frank Gaspar’s poems are agile and forceful, their narratives clear and absorbing. In them, he is speaking to the reader—but also to himself, or perhaps to some hazy divinity or to the blue sky. I felt in his voice no attempt to persuade me of anything. I felt only the abiding imperative to get it right. Which is, of course, what real writing is all about.”—Mary Oliver

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gaspar's poems look dense upon the page-and float like a thousand blossoms in the wind. This Brittingham Prize winner takes on the issues of everyday life and enlarges upon them in fluid verse. (LJ 7/04) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295449
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: Poetry
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,276,294
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Frank X. Gaspar is the author of three previous prize-winning collections of poetry, The Holyoke, Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death, and A Field Guide to the Heavens (winner of the Brittingham Prize for Poetry), and a novel, Leaving Pico, which won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the California Book Award for First Fiction. His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 1996 and 2000, among others. His many honors and awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, the Edgar Stanley Award and a Readers' Choice Award (both from Prairie Schooner). Born in Provincetown, MA, he now lives in southern California where he teaches at Long Beach City College.
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Table of Contents

I Go Out for a Smoke and Become Mistaken for the Archangel 3
One Thousand Blossoms 5
Bright Wings 6
It Was So Dark Inside the Wolf 7
Hobbes 9
There Were Footsteps in the Garden 10
That Blue Rondo 11
The Lost Art 12
Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? 13
The Fruit Trees and the Junipers 14
Symposium 16
Isn't It Enough? 18
Tacitus Considers a Poem in My Garden Late at Night 19
I Am Not a Keeper of Sheep 20
Put Your Ear to the Ground 22
Bodhidharma Preaches the Wake-up Sermon 25
Paradise 27
The One God Is Mysterious 28
The Work Was Too Easy 30
The Angel's Hand 31
There Is an Outcry in the Streets for Lack of Wine 32
My Hood of Stars 34
I Become a Disciple but Only in My Own Mind 35
The Ant 36
Castor, Pollux, Alhena, Propus 37
For the Womb Is a Great World 38
I Invite the Angel Gabriel, but Only the Wind Comes 40
The Way That Can Be Spoken of Is Not the Way 41
The Garden Will Come to You 43
The Blue Cigarette and Other Stories 47
The Persimmon Bough 48
If I Looked for the One Art 49
Just Now We Are Sitting in Sunlight 50
One Arm and Another Arm 51
The Olive Trees 52
You Can't Be a Star in the Sky Without Holy Fire 53
Flags Are Flying Everywhere 54
A Song for the Crows 55
It Is the Nature of the Wing 56
Don't You Want to Walk Out Among the Lilies? 57
Hurricane Douglas, Hurricane Elida 58
Tonight It's a Word 59
Many Trumpets and Maracas 60
The Sighing of the Ruddy Ground-Dove 61
Green 62
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2004

    buy it

    real refreshing i am a poet myself and hope the rest of the world will know your work bravo

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