Train Dance

Overview

Train Dance adopts the rhythm and return of the commute through the Hudson Valley into Manhattan as a motif for the echoes of memory and event that contour a life. Reflecting on the place of poetry amid the urban hustle—a way one might “Carry myself like a tune/ Into the chorus of the city”—Wells records a series of linked journeys in which a son comes to understands his mother’s death and writing engraves events in memory, retaining events as locations—station stops, as it ...
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Overview

Train Dance adopts the rhythm and return of the commute through the Hudson Valley into Manhattan as a motif for the echoes of memory and event that contour a life. Reflecting on the place of poetry amid the urban hustle—a way one might “Carry myself like a tune/ Into the chorus of the city”—Wells records a series of linked journeys in which a son comes to understands his mother’s death and writing engraves events in memory, retaining events as locations—station stops, as it were—to which one returns.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A first book of poetry from an established editor and anthologist (Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll), this volume extends its metaphor, from engine to obsolete caboose, through the spaces of domestic sadness, familial loss, and sexual renewal. Infused with the surrealism of physical displacement, the poems are haunting in places but unfortunately marred by a tendency to end lines with prepositions ("There won't be time before he leaves at/ dawn to recall the grapestand under/ the stars near Kandahar…") and by some awkward formal verse (a sonnet that rhymes "before" with "anymore," for example) that doesn't seem worth the effort. Most compelling are the father/son poems, which include the title piece about a game played with a child to make time go faster. This conceit provides a nice counterpoint to the opening poem's sense of time moving too quickly: "no matter how far I lean into those turns,/ I cannot catch tomorrow's train tonight." VERDICT Despite some prosodic awkwardness, this book evokes the poignancy of the suburban male psyche that tells time by a commutation schedule but is out of synch with the present. For larger audiences.—Ellen Kaufman, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935536147
  • Publisher: Four Way Books
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 76
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

JONATHAN WELLS works as an editor in New York.
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Table of Contents

ONE
The Dream Line
Stations of the Night
Ms. Magellan
For the Sick
Another One
Nearsighted
Alexander’s Library
A Poem Goes Missing From His Collected Work
The Poet’s Horoscope
Patterns of Sleep
Yoga Dog
TWO
The Sailor’s Song
Sharing the Sun
Morning Gamblers
Escape Artist
London Plane
The Earth’s Heartbeat
Remembering Nothing
Train Dance
On My Lips
Apology (Father and Son)
The Last Summer Night
Dylan Thomas Stopped in Ossining
A Visit
One Life
THREE
Graffiti
The Giving Position
The Names
Now Carried Together
Nearly Spirit
Beloved
Indian Summer
Eulogy at Night
The Hill One Year Later
Please Hold
Untitled
FOUR
The Well
Like Water, Light
Hike to Grizzly Lake
The Mark
Speechless
Grand Central Station Some Moments Without Poetry
The Future
Sail For Us
Summer Mask
Thief
Caboose
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