Vertical Elegies 5: The Section

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Imagine moving at the speed of thought through a sense-engulfing place--a city street, carnival, airport lobby . . . or your life. You have no time to process these sounds, sights, smells, and other psycho-sensory bulges--but no way either to keep them from flooding the inner world you're forever on the verge of sorting out. That, in part, is the experience of reading these sixty-nine sonnets, each of them a multidimensional, kaleidoscopic crossroad where organic form, awareness, memory/history, intellect, and ...
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Overview


Imagine moving at the speed of thought through a sense-engulfing place--a city street, carnival, airport lobby . . . or your life. You have no time to process these sounds, sights, smells, and other psycho-sensory bulges--but no way either to keep them from flooding the inner world you're forever on the verge of sorting out. That, in part, is the experience of reading these sixty-nine sonnets, each of them a multidimensional, kaleidoscopic crossroad where organic form, awareness, memory/history, intellect, and the human heart merge into specificity, like light at the end of a tunnel.

The Boston Review has said this of Truitt's poetry: "Cunning formal maneuverings provide the distance and displacement needed to rattle the teeth of syntax and alter the current beat. As a reader, one gets caught up in the frenzy. There is the pleasure of verbal abandon and the reassurance of visual control. There is the perpetually keyed-up anticipation of anything-could-happen-here." And it does.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Here is word from the other side of the implacable mirror—as if a contemporary Everyman might still be able to speak and ourselves be still able to hear him. This extraordinary sequence of poems is fact not only of a brilliant poet's arrival but equally of a determined vision of our degraded world, a last warning, so to speak, before there's nothing left to say."--Robert Creeley

"Pierces the cosmic veil with New York-school-esque humor and downright irreverence, lifting this sequence above holistic atmospherics to wrestle with the knottier, ironic substance of life . . . The experience is lively and vivid, bringing the reader to a cross-cut universe where 'it is all one adventure . . . / told to sit in the corner and enjoy the view.'“--Publishers Weekly

"With masterful wordplay and keen and startling observation, Sam Truitt gives us nothing less than the world we see every day, seen anew."--Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Newsletter

Publishers Weekly
Truitt (Anamorphosis Eisenhower) creates a series of landscapes in 69 fluid "sonnets" that owe something to the groovy techno-vibe of Japanese anime, William Gibson and the genome project. A book like Andrew Joron's Science Fiction makes it unclear why SF and poetry have been such uneasy bedfellows, and this collection, not unlike Charles Borkhuis's Alpha Ruins, pierces the cosmic veil with New York-school-esque humor and downright irreverence, lifting this sequence above holistic atmospherics to wrestle with the knottier, ironic substance of life: "in the speckled distance a name is being born/ and then you are there on the 80th floor/ like richard dreyfus addressing viscerally the notion that this/ scrap of the keelson of creation bore it." Biblical language (the ark, the golden calf, Solomon) and a host of Eliotic symbols vie with apocalyptic turns ("during the second blast I was studying a potted plant learning stenography"), old-school surrealism ("the greatest poem is a woman's handbag") and, occasionally, with disarming observations: "how can we abandon time, which remains our only laboratory for loving things that die?" The often ambient, paratactic nature of these poems, frequently double-spaced and including little syllogistic or linear content, may leave some readers wanting more narrative structure. But when the top-down approach works, the experience is lively and vivid, bringing the reader to a cross-cut universe where "it is all one adventure.../ told to sit in the corner and enjoy the view." (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820325040
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: The Contemporary Poetry Series
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Sam Truitt is author of the collection Anamorphosis Eisenhower. His work has appeared in such literary journals as Verse, Ploughshares, and Fence, as well as in The Best American Poetry 2002. Truitt currently lives in New York City.
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