Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems

Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems

by Paul Hoover
     
 


The editor of the anthology POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY (Norton, 1994) and the author of six earlier books of poetry, Hoover is credited with helping expand the possiblities for the ironic perspective in American verse. Seeming to find little or no contradiciton between pop irony and lyrical intensity, and often shifting between the two with a remarkable freedom,…  See more details below

Overview


The editor of the anthology POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY (Norton, 1994) and the author of six earlier books of poetry, Hoover is credited with helping expand the possiblities for the ironic perspective in American verse. Seeming to find little or no contradiciton between pop irony and lyrical intensity, and often shifting between the two with a remarkable freedom, Hoover writes poems that, according to Ron Padgett, glow with the pleasures of surprise. The selected poems are an ideal starting-place for readers new to Hoover, while the spare and resonant new poems offer his fans yet another slant in a fascinating trajectory.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Well-known for editing the Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry as well as the literary journal New American Writing, Hoover is also the author of five books of poems from which he here makes a cohesive selection, and adds new work. His aesthetic fuses the chatty observational wisdom of the New York School with a postmodern skepticism of linguistic transcendence ("intense bits/ of emotional/ baggage constant/ as genres"), which most often leads to a kind of familiar po-mo lament: "There's/ no `new meaning.'/ Old words circle/ beyond our contriving." Unlike anything envisioned by the Romantics, this is a world "designed by Michael Jackson," where Madonna and the Serbs lure our attentions away from modernist texts like Finnegans Wake--which is to say, the poems are deeply informed by the culture wars inaugurated in the '80s. One Hoover response is to playfully rebel against the literature, whether recommending Conrad's Heart of Darkness after one's finished watching I Love Lucy or claiming to have "sat on the face of T.S. Eliot / and squirmed my butt around." In the new poems, Hoover seems to be looking for a way to articulate a more positivist poetic, whether it be through affirmative eros ("love's/ singular language/ has ten/ tongues") or beauty: "I listen all day/ to Miles Davis play,/ beautifully and/ clearly, `So Near,/ So Far'." Whether or not Hoover finds a way out of the questions the poems ask, the questioning itself remains genuine and open-ended. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883689872
Publisher:
Talisman House, Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/1999
Pages:
123
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.01(d)

Meet the Author


Paul Hoover is the author of eleven books of poetry. He is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton, 1994) and, with Maxine Chernoff, the annual literary magazine NEW AMERICAN WRITING. His collection of literary essays, Fables of Representation, was published in the Poets on Poetry series of University of Michigan Press in 2004. He teaches at San Francisco State University.

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