The Late Parade: Poems

The Late Parade: Poems

by Adam Fitzgerald
     
 

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A debut collection that welcomes a new modernist aesthetic for the twenty-first century.

Aswirl with waking dreams and phantom memories, The Late Parade is a triumph of poetic imagination. To write about one thing, you must first write about another. In Adam Fitzgerald's debut collection, readers discover forty-eight poems that yoke together

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Overview

A debut collection that welcomes a new modernist aesthetic for the twenty-first century.

Aswirl with waking dreams and phantom memories, The Late Parade is a triumph of poetic imagination. To write about one thing, you must first write about another. In Adam Fitzgerald's debut collection, readers discover forty-eight poems that yoke together tones playful and elegiac, nostalgic and absurd. Fitzgerald's shape-shifting inspirations "beckon us to join an urban promenade" (McLane) with a multiplicity of chimerical stops: from the unreal cities of Dubai to the former Soviet Union, from Nigerian spammers and the Virgin Mary to Dr. Johnson and Cat Power.

"The glory of this volume is the long title poem, which carries the primal vision of Hart Crane into a future that does not surrender the young poet’s love of the real," writes Harold Bloom. Mash-ups of litanies, monologues and odes, these poems spring from a modernist landscape filled with madcap slips of tongue, innuendo, archaisms and everyday slang. Though Fitzgerald's lines often hallucinate meanings that feel open-ended, they never ignore the traditional pleasures of poetic craft and memory, their music an ambient drone—part Technicolor, part nitrous oxide.

Even so, what glues these fantasies together is more than the charm of the maddeningly chameleon rhetoric. Fitzgerald's sonorous voice is unabashedly that of a love poet's: melancholic, baroque and visionary. The Late Parade is a testament to the powers of confusion, which may disguise our sense of loss but offer in return that eloquent tonic known as poetry. As Richard Howard writes, "When the new poet turns up the heat, he gives us just the necessary outrages which make us understand what we never knew we could say."

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - David Kirby
…Fitzgerald's voice is a new and welcome sound in the aviary of contemporary poetry. It isn't "accessible," a term of derision some readers use to describe poems people actually like. Not for Fitzgerald the bucolic musings of Ted Kooser or Billy Collins's signature blend of drollery and deep emotion or even Lucia Perillo's jittery scrambles over the entire geography of the mind and heart. No, his is a third way, a poetry that is neither sealed off from human ears nor bent solely on pleasing them. In a word, his poems are drunk on both word and allusion and are therefore doubly tipsy. There are plenty of poets who are word-drunk and plenty of others who slap down allusions faster than a blackjack dealer. But I can't think of anyone today who is dealing in both currencies as fluidly as Fitzgerald. The result is a poetry as lush as any of Keats's odes, as textured as a corridor in the Louvre.
Publishers Weekly
Busy, ornate and elaborate, evasive in their sense, yet charged with emotion, the poems of Fitzgerald’s debut could get quick attention: “If my markings were a liberal-minded act/ in this splooge of too-mobled monuments,/ they’d first have to convene at a hospital amphitheatre,” he announces in a poem with a provocative opening: “I didn’t always have this douchebag haircut.” The hyper-contemporary language may seem to ride in Michael Robbins’s tailwind, and yet Fitzgerald’s other modes come off less ironic than erotic, urgent, crowded with declarations, anxious for love, intensely aware of poetry’s past. “Quatrains, peaches and rivers had once/ been the clock of his invariable hours,” one quatrain begins, and even a poem with the unpromising title “Nigerian Spammer” pauses for unlikely welcomes: “Come, friend, zoomorphic as you are,/ Kind to ruins, casually enclosed in space.” Fitzgerald tries almost too hard to remain in and of his own time, and yet his gestures point back to such earlier urban Romantics as Hart Crane (indeed, Fitzgerald runs the @HartCrane Twitter feed). Detractors may wonder how much new substance there is behind Fitzgerald’s surfaces; partisans—who may compare him to Crane, or even to David Foster Wallace—will accept his invitations: “Creep through this room in a dirty gondola// with chimes under level-headed clouds:/ that’s enough, facetiousness aside.” (June)
David Kirby - New York Times Book Review
“Fitzgerald’s voice is a new and welcome sound in the aviary of contemporary poetry… His is a third way, a poetry that is neither sealed off from human ears nor bent solely on pleasing them. In a word, his poems are drunk on both word and allusion and are therefore doubly tipsy… The result is a poetry as lush as any of Keat’s odes, as textured as a corridor in the Louvre… No wonder this was the first debut collection acquired by W.W. Norton’s resurrected Liveright division, which helped define modernism in America in the 1920s… Reading ‘The Late Parade’ wasn’t like listening to a mountain speak. It was more like listening to the earth laugh.”
John Ashbery
“In The Late Parade, Adam Fitzgerald is a master of defeating expectations so as to fulfill them farther along. One has the feeling of climbing higher along a path that is giving way under one’s feet, in pursuit always of ‘a waltz on our breath.’ Yet the rhythmic and consonant commotion of these poems ends in joy. This is a dazzling debut.”
Maureen McLane
“Adam Fitzgerald joins an estimable line—a parade?—from Crane to Ashbery to Donnelly. Fitzgerald is truly 'a noble rider' of 'the sound of words,' to invoke Stevens. We confront here a surging ocean of sound and language, but also a sharp mind, ascetic, even astringent.”
Dorothea Lasky
“Adam Fitzgerald’s The Late Parade is wildly alive with the grit and glue of broken objects and the noise of lost things. You can count on the immense care he takes in putting music back into the world. You can count on the fact this is a book we will read for years to come.”
Timothy Donnelly
“Released from the plod of workaday logics and handed over to the flow of their own becoming, the poems in The Late Parade shudder with exhilarating assurance and nonstop invention, never fully breaking it off with the familiar, but incapable of leaving it untransformed. We’ve been waiting too long for a book like this to arrive. Wake up—it’s finally here.”
Harold Bloom
“The Late Parade by Adam Fitzgerald may be the beginning of a great career.”
Library Journal
In a style reminiscent of later John Ashbery (Quick Question) Fitzgerald (editor, Maggy) debuts an overstuffed collection, in a vocabulary overwrought with irony and busyness. The resulting poems are airless, written in overambitious language that sounds desperate: "May the starkness of inhuman instruments be yours,/ tempering a passageway through this ordinary/ mountain range where the mountain-door dwells." The problem is that his poems' lines don't naturally depart and return to us in a way that enlightens readers as to their relationship to one another or to their creator. Although Fitzgerald apparently fully senses the purpose of his work, he's buried it, creating quite a challenge to those willing to take him on. While "The Argument" is a catalog poem that works toward a simplicity, its intent is slow to emerge: "The life we didn't live./ The time tepid as bronze./ The stacked air./ The frozen rail./ The dripping of summer in drops." VERDICT Some intrepid devotees of contemporary poetry may be glad to tackle this collection; many are likely to find it not worth the struggle.—Annalisa Pesek, Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871406996
Publisher:
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
06/10/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
112
File size:
1 MB

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