Shelley Gave Jane A Guitar / Edition 1

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Overview

“Basking in the twilight of Late Romanticism, Meier . . . finds the rays seductive but damaging . . . Meier’s sophisticated debut promises further developments.”—Publishers Weekly on Terrain Vague

Domesticity, nature, and heartbreak inhabit this seriously playful second collection. Through precise description and inventive vocabulary, Meier’s poems are relentless in their efforts to sincerely address contemporary uncertainty and love. A great book for readers looking to rediscover Romantic poetry: “Embrace was a word first used of forts, / until the one body fell down inside the other body, and was lost.”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spectacularly inventive in its phrasings, unabashedly traditional in its themes and fluidly postmodern in its syntax, Meier's second volume is also almost unremittingly sad. The title invokes Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem on the gift of a musical instrument, whose strains, Shelley says, transfigure both joy and pain. Drenched in the language of poets who have come before him, Meier's landscapes frame and expose a music of corroded memory and intense regret. Often it suggests erotic failures, romantic loneliness or breakups: "The Shame of Fools" describes "the congenital acrimony/ of waking in the arms one had gone to sleep with, the lace of the nightgown/ folded with light through the curtains into a Russian fairy tale/ rushing to repeat its past." "November" revises the medieval lyric lament for the 21st century; "Losses and Compensations" lives up to the title's melancholy promise. Though Meier (Terrain Vague, 2001) invokes the English Romantics, his techniques recall John Ashbery, pursuing a general failure of human speech to explain or arrest the fluid, always-disappointing world: a dove (Noah's symbol of peace, or the holy spirit) "brings back// the flood in its mouth, the abject terror// of white garments on a black floor, and we welcome it." (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933517100
  • Publisher: Wave Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Richard Meier's first book, Terrain Vague, was selected by Tomaz Salamun for the Verse Prize and published by Verse Press in 2001. He lives in Orfordville, Wisconsin and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.
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