The sestina is a traditional poetic form that has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, which promises to expand further with this witty illustrated cycle of poems. Casting themselves as poetic superheroes, authors Jim and Dave take on Osama Bin Laden and various other rogues and luminaries, defeating the “Masked Man” in the end to the cheering of appreciative crowds at the "sestina bar." As the two sestina-meisters take turns writing individual poems (and collaborating on one together), the mild-mannered bespectacled lad and the dashing superhero that coexist inside both Cummins and Lehman rescue the form from the clutches of everyday life and transform it into something fantastic. In this ambitious work, even the table of contents is written in sestina form. Adding to the fun are 39 vivid illustrations by Archie Rand and cameo appearances by Marvin Bell, Anne Sexton, Walt Whitman, Ted Berrigan, Gary Snyder, Arthur Rimbaud, Grace Paley, and others.
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Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I'm a big fan of David Lehman's work, from his treatise on detective fiction to his many anthologies to his own collections of poetry. Those who appreciate the New York School of Poets' playful humor and goofy energy will enjoy this book. Such an interesting conceit: a co-authored book of sestinas. That alone makes this book worth looking at. After all, how often do you see co-authored books of poetry, and how often a book made up entirely of sestinas--right down to the table of contents? And many of the poems are really good ones, too--this is not just an elaborate gimmick. Lehman and Cummins are two poets who are not "aluminum snores," to borrow Dean Young's description of Robert Lowell.