by Richard Kenney

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The peculiar title refers to a model of the solar system, named for the Earl of Orrery (16761731), for whom the first one was constructedand this dense and daunting book fulfills its billing splendidly. The position on earth from which the poet describes the zodiac is an apple farm in Vermont whose main business is the production of cider jelly. Within the large clockwork scheme devised to order his work, the individual poems of the central sequence, called ``Apples,'' are delightfully small, intimate and original, tracing a year-long sojourn in the country with friends. Though this is an ambitious work, it is never overweening: these little cogs mesh with the big apparatus of the book, and Kenney's impressive erudition and astonishing fluency are never allowed to get out of hand. November
Library Journal - Library Journal
As if in response to critics who lament the scarcity of grand themes in recent poet ry, Kenney chooses an orrerya gear- and-globe contraption designed to repre sent the movements of celestial bodies as the guiding metaphor of his second book, for what themes could be grander than time, space, and motion? Though the poet observes such immensities from the comparatively claustrophobic van tage of a Vermont apple farm, he propels his poems forward with strongly iambic lines colored by complex rhyme: ``A single clockwork/ world this farm, where evening stars and drifting quarks/ spin lazily across the dark according to/ the Laws . . . .'' An accomplished technician, Kenney nevertheless allows his pyrotechnics to get away (``hiss and smolder, the smoke's sour/ snake up weaving'') and sometimes drifts toward mannered abstraction, but Orrery re mains a noble, ambitious experiment. Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.

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