Dancing, with Mirrors is George Amabile's 'lyrical retrospective', a thoughtful fragmentation and re-arrangement of his personal history. These eleven 'cantos' tumble into and over each other in a rush of passion, memory, devastation, and quiet moments that promise renewal; here, Amabile's talent for sounding the complex depths of everyday life shines like a beacon.
|Publisher:||Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||First edition.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
George Amabile has published his poetry, fiction and non-fiction in the USA, Canada, Europe, England, Wales, South America, Australia and New Zealand in over a hundred anthologies, magazines, journals and periodicals including The New Yorker, The New Yorker Book of Poems, Harper's, Poetry (Chicago), American Poetry Review, Botteghe Oscure, The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, Saturday Night
Read an Excerpt
Transit in Absentia
. . . . . .
A fuzzy half-moon hangs from the bruised night.
It looks as though it has become infected with some as yet uncatalogued fungus, tenacious as angelhair. It has lost its place in the old stories Astarte, Nanna,
His-wang-mu, or the Mexican Trickster
Conejo and must be content with its role as pock-marked veteran of obscure plagues and wars,
the unearthly darkness packed like grease around a bearing that won't hold up much longer.
And all the while they were imagining soft landings, the night sky,
the moon a pearl among diamonds,
the empty sleeves of the sea.
Later, they abandoned each other to ambivalent shade, breathing shallow afternoons and closing the books they had leafed through as a hedge against boredom.
It was enough to dream with half closed eyes,
to speak in fragments, in a vernacular conditioned by boutiques and cafes.
Pods ripen and fall.
They gather their towels and cups,
their headbands, their unread mail,
and that is all they have time for under cliffs with their fossil records lying carelessly open,
a rough Braille in the decaying light.
The big boat shudders and hums.
Light sparkles under a thin haze.
As the stern veers and steadies,
blue hills drift away. The gulls adjust. The air-vent grills quiver and blur, and the waves,
slate grey like the backs of the gulls, change textures: chipped stone like a primitive ax-head,
burred steel and a cross-hatch of loosely woven linen...
The breeze dies. The sea is a mirror filled with nothing but time.
. . . . . .
What People are Saying About This
'What muscular lyricism! Amabile is a fearless singer who finds the right note for every human emotion. With elegance and passion, he pushes against the silence of complacency. He's both of the world and other-worldly, a vatic poet with a sharp intelligence, simply one of the country's best.'
'The poems composed for this new collection, many drawn from earlier poems now recomposed, ask two fundamental questions: Where are we and how can it be said? The questions curve around each other: Are we found when we are spoken, are we spoken when we are found? But the language of poetry, so apt for tracking loss and being tracked by it, is such a frail instruments, and poets walk nowhere if not across 'the nothing that is," as Wallace Stevens remarks, or as Amabile notes, 'here / is the same as nowhere at all." Everything teeters on the edge of exquisite enjambements 'of the self / . . . its flowing away," unabated.'
'This book of poems is bound in a beautiful soft yellow parchment type paper and, in my opinion, the delivery of these eleven cantos is greatly complimented by your careful choice of binding and presentation.Apart from the format I would also like to express my pleasure in reading this book of poems. The first part of the book explores the solitary development of our human consciousness and then moves (unexpectantly) in to the exploration of the life of a married man and the birth of his son later in his life. It drew me back 28 years to the birth of my own son and the universal rite of passage the birth of any child represents. I was struck by the candour of the poet in describing his experiences and by the remarkable way in which he finds the words and syntax to approach and define his joys and his fears.'
'The poems composed for this new collection, many drawn from earlier poems now recomposed, ask two fundamental questions: Where are we and how can it be said? The questions curve around each other: Are we found when we are spoken, are we spoken when we are found? But the language of poetry, so apt for tracking loss and being tracked by it, is such a frail instruments, and poets walk nowhere if not across &'grave;the nothing that is,'' as Wallace Stevens remarks, or as Amabile notes, &'grave;here / is the same as nowhere at all.'' Everything teeters on the edge of exquisite enjambements &'grave;of the self / . . . its flowing away,'' unabated.'
When I began this project, my hope was that, looked at closely, fragments of an individual life moments of intensity or understanding, crossroads, discoveries, the dynamics of family and friendship, the shifting gestalts of public and private events, glimpses of the interplay between mind, spirit, and world might become a vehicle for speaking to some of the concerns that have emerged, with some urgency, from the cultural matrix of the last half century. The cantos, as I call them, are organized by juxtapositions which reveal thematic linkages, or narrative connections, and sometimes both.
The fascination I have always had with language, its mysterious ways of opening marvellously unexpected and often entirely unpredictable episodes of meaning and nuance and resonance, along with the delight I take in the rhythmic complexity and subtle sound patterns of a well written sentence or stanza or paragraph, has been an endlessly intriguing adventure that has remained vivid and fresh and has sustained my efforts for half a century.