Sparrow: New and Selected Poems

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Stamped with his signature blend of compassion and conscience - of intimate individuality and the social world in which we confront the implications of our attitudes and beliefsSparrow distills the development of Gibbons' work from the late sixties to the present. These are poems of love, sorrow, keen attentiveness, and a powerful range of emotion and thought. There is an ethical dimension in Gibbons' poetry; it is rarely explicit, but it lies behind his drama of conflict and choice, his meditations on feeling ...
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Overview

Stamped with his signature blend of compassion and conscience - of intimate individuality and the social world in which we confront the implications of our attitudes and beliefsSparrow distills the development of Gibbons' work from the late sixties to the present. These are poems of love, sorrow, keen attentiveness, and a powerful range of emotion and thought. There is an ethical dimension in Gibbons' poetry; it is rarely explicit, but it lies behind his drama of conflict and choice, his meditations on feeling and place, and his experiments with form. Here also we find the poet's subtle exploration of how our consciousness is shaped - not only by our own unique experience, but also by the limitless possibilities of language itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As adduced by the three decades' worth of poetry represented here, the line that separates private concerns from social ones is easily erased. In poems that map the shifting interactions of lyric and narrative modes, former Triquarterly editor Gibbons combines an imagist's visual acuity ("The sunlight gathers the gold-green wall of trees/ in pleats") with a therapist's attention to gesture ("I saw him touch her shoulder/ carefully, as if it had thorns"). While earlier poems reveal the restraining influence of Ezra Pound and the Chinese masters, Gibbons's later work stretches into looser, more outward-looking forms as his lens widens beyond introspection to include the lives of others, often those haunted by loss ("City") or caught up in destructive relationships as a means toward identity and security ("Saints"). Though he sometimes finds himself "getting lost in the pity of it" and allows for some windy passages, Gibbons's honesty of expression and involvement in his subjects prove that at least someone hears the difficult, almost inexpressible stories that would otherwise dissolve in silence.Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807122327
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1997
  • Series: Southern Messenger Poets Series
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Table of Contents

Desterrado, late 1960s 3
White Beach 5
Sparrow 9
Folk Saying 11
City 12
View from a Western Hilltop 16
Fervors 17
Image of a Young Man, c. 1994 25
With Wings / Con alas 27
St. Valentine's Eve 30
The Affect of Elms 39
A Rememberer 40
Long-Ago Yaupon 41
Stars 42
Lovers 43
Hark 44
Poem 45
From a Paper Boat 46
An Explosion 57
Madrid 59
Hide from Time 60
Teacher 62
Eating 65
Elsewhere Children 67
Make Me Hear You 70
Two Kinds of Singing 72
Her Love 74
That Phone Call 75
April to May 77
Away from You 79
Saints 80
In the Kingdom 113
The Voice of Someone Else 116
Breath 117
The Days 118
"Luckies" 119
Lentils 120
The Letter 122
Small Elegy 124
At Noon 125
Hoppy 126
The Ruined Motel 127
Prayer Before Bathing 130
Those Who Are Gone 131
Two Promises 135
Betrayal 136
Dusk 138
In a Study over a Stage 140
Pine Island 141
Buddy 142
Behind the Mountain 144
In Memoriam Ezra Loomis Pound 145
An Archaeology of the Future 146
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