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"Aaron Poochigian's technique is masterly, the tone tends to be tart, disillusioned, cryptic, and elegant, and it's easy to be beguiled by these poems' wit and bravura. But the pyrotechnics are used to serious ends, and the scenes that are fitfully illuminated, whether they occur in landscapes as quotidian as contemporary North Dakota or as otherworldly as mythical Greece, whether they are chilling or exhilarating, are always immediate in their reality, and they speak to the reader with a compelling cogency."—Dick Davis
"Aaron Poochigian is both a classicist and a neo-classical poet. By this I mean that he prefers as subjects the common occasions of our lives and articulates them uncommonly, in verse rich with the kind of detail that becomes a style passed on in an act of friendship between him and the poets of the past who have served as his mentors."—Charles Martin
"It is a delight to have some of Aaron Poochigian's modern New York replies to famous Sappho poems. Reading them is like eavesdropping on a New York wise guy discussing the 'night before' with a classical scholar: sexy, witty, learned, and moving. Worth hearing, worth re-reading, too."—Diana Der-Hovanessian
"What is the cosmic purr? Pussycat poet Aaron Poochigian is the one to show us in his ebullient lines. He returns where he started—to the northern plains—then spins on a dime to the wider world 'where life was all night long / drinking and dancing, bursting into song.' In 'The Parlor' he nods ironically to his Armenian heritage, and a few pages later he lights an elegiac candle for a dying friend. A major translator from classical Greek, Poochigian offers in his own poetry a hip formality, a timeless sense of the contemporary, and when he brings the classics into this scene they live again as freshly as ever."—David Mason
Posted August 3, 2012
I was really impressed with the style of writing that the author portrays in this book. His knowledge of the subject, concise wording and varying structure make this a delightful book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into this book and was transported into another world numerous times. This is definitely one of those books that you cannot say "Oh, I'm going to read just one poem and then head off to bed". It just doesn't work that way! I recommend this book to everyone, even if you're not a fan of poetry :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2012
I'd like to preface by saying I don't often read poetry. It's never been a form that's grabbed me. In particular, I've always been unimpressed by much of modern poetry's lackadaisical, hipster-esque disregard for form and content and meter, as if strings of words that sound "cool" together might actually somehow come to resemble something more profound than the sum of the relevant parts.
Not so with Aaron Poochigian's stunning entry into the modern poetic forum. Poochigian has a clear and defined voice, sometimes soft and whimsical, sometimes with a hard and sardonic edge, but always distinctly his own. His poems are a joy to read, and on more than one occasion I found myself smiling as I felt chills of delight.
One of my favorites was perhaps his lengthiest work contained in this volume, "The Mystes," which details the tale of two men in classical times, during an era of war and pestilence. The delicious irony of "The Mystes" is sad and yet somehow greatly amusing, as the narrator saves his friend from suicide, only to watch as that friend undergoes a religious rebirth amid the Grecian mystery cults. The narrator is skeptical of these rites at first, but when he takes ill he begs his friend for some small parcel of enlightenment and peace that he previously disdained. What I find so stunning about "The Mystes" is the clarity with which the story is told. The social commentary is also thought-provoking.
All in all, "The Cosmic Purr" is the perfect collection for both frequent purveyors of poetry, and newcomers alike. I am most certainly not a "poetry fan" and yet I eagerly devoured Poochigian's debut volume. You can't go wrong with this one.