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The Redshifting Web, 1970-1998: New and Selected Poems


Sze is one of the most intensely musical and visionary poets writing today. "The Redshifting Web" spans more than a quarter of a century's worth of his published work and makes available for the first time the full range of his poetry.
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The Redshifting Web: New & Selected Poems

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Sze is one of the most intensely musical and visionary poets writing today. "The Redshifting Web" spans more than a quarter of a century's worth of his published work and makes available for the first time the full range of his poetry.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spare and declarative, Sze's poems make an indirect case for the connectedness of ideas and objects, of cultural past and personal present. In "Viewing Photographs of China" the poet accurately characterizes his modus operandi: "And instead of insisting that/ the world have an essence, we/ juxtapose, as in a collage,/ facts, ideas, images." Sze is at his strongest in this new and selected collection when working imagistically, offering brief, lucid descriptions of striking tableaus that display their intellectual roots almost coyly: "As a stone drops into a pool and red koi// swim toward the point of impact, we set/ a yarrow stalk aside and throw `Duration,'// glimpse a spiral of bats ascend out of a cave;/ one by one they flare off into indigo air." His deeply considered visions of the nature-culture bind draw on the complexities of Chinese-American affiliation, and seemingly on Sze's experiences teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He handles culturally talismanic material with careful, absorbing disinterest: "here skid marks on I-25 mark a head-on collision;/ a man writes in grass style: huan wo he shan;/ a dog drags a horse's leg back from the arroyo." As in his wonderful translations of classical Chinese poetry, the sureness of Sze's language and the clarity of his eye present a compelling picture of a world whose wholeness must be taken on faith. (May) FYI: Sze was recently awarded $105,000 by the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation to promote and teach poetry in the Southwest.
Library Journal
Winner of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, among others, Sze (Archipelago, Copper Canyon, 1995) is a second-generation Chinese American poet who has taught for more than a decade at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. This volume includes selections from his previous five books plus a generous assortment of new poems. Sze's poetry may well be far too elusive for those demanding a poem to mean as well as be. In one poem, we are encouraged to "cultivate private languages," and in another a "broken radio" is preferred over the TV news. As Sze characterizes his method: "you knock the/ gyroscope off the axis of spinning,/ so that one orientation in the world vanishes/ and the others appear infinite." These "other" orientations often yield a bewildering kaleidoscope of images that challenge coherence, though Sze helps some by suggesting that "the mind magnetizes/ everything it touches. A knife in a dog/ has nothing to do/ with the carburetor of an engine: to all appearances,/ to all appearances." Not for everyone, but libraries with good modern poetry collections should consider.--Thomas F. Merrill, Univ. of Delaware
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556590887
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,448,830
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Sze is the author of nine books of poetry and translation. He is emeritus professor of Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts, former poet laureate of Santa Fe, and a corresponding editor for Manoa. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

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    Before Completion3
    The String Diamond13
    Apache Plume: 1 The Beginning Web35
    Apache Plume: 2 Reductions and Enlargements36
    Apache Plume: 3 The Names of a Bird37
    Apache Plume: 4 The Architecture of Silence38
    Apache Plume: 5 Hourglass39
    Apache Plume: 6 Entelechy40
    Apache Plume: 7 Apache Plume41
    Apache Plume: 8 Anamnesis42
    Apache Plume: 9 Starlight43
    Apache Plume: 10 Diffraction Grating45
    Six Persimmons46
    Noah's / Dove55
    The Wood Whittler56
    Li Po57
    The Execution of Maximilian59
    Sound Lag60
    Sliding Away61
    Strawberries in Wooden Bowls62
    The Olive Grove63
    A Singer with Eyes of Sand64
    The Taoist Painter67
    The Silver Trade69
    He will Come to my Funeral with a White Flower70
    The Waking71
    North to Taos72
    Three A.M., in Winter73
    Wang Wei75
    Morning Shutters76
    Do not Speak Keresan to a Mescalero Apache78
    Viewing Photographs of China81
    The Moon is a Diamond83
    Listening to a Broken Radio84
    Written the Day I was to Begin a Residency at the State Penitentiary86
    June Ghazal88
    Knife at the Jugular93
    The Opal97
    The Weather Shifts99
    Juniper Fires103
    Black Lightning105
    Impressions of the New Mexico Legislature107
    Cedar Fires108
    The Murmur109
    The Corona110
    Olive Night111
    The Cloud Chamber115
    Empty Words116
    The Owl119
    The Cornucopia120
    The Chance121
    The Network122
    Fern, Coal, Diamond124
    The Axis125
    The Leaves of a Dream are the Leaves of an Onion129
    The Aphrodisiac135
    The Ansel Adams Card136
    New Wave138
    Every Where and Every When139
    The Rehearsal142
    Kayaking at Night on Tomales Bay143
    Mistaking Water Hemlock for Parsley144
    Evil Grigri145
    The Pulse146
    The Diamond Point147
    Horse Face149
    The Negative150
    The Solderer153
    Ten Thousand to One155
    To a Composer156
    Shooting Star157
    The Silence161
    Early Autumn163
    Nothing can Heal the Severed Nerves of a Hand?164
    Splash, Flow165
    The Moment of Creation166
    Forget Fez167
    Throwing Salt on a Path169