Library JournalAs 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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