Blue Guide - Phoenix Poets (Paperback)Stephen Yenser (author)
Paperback 96 Pages
From Sfakian Variations - Goats bawl and goats' bells clink and ice in the glass of ouzo tinkles back and that is all the music - even tzitzikes rest and listen - anyone needs to face tonight, until the fog settles in, thick and muggy, though cold and clammy on the painted railing around the balcony that overlooks this whole small world one nearly overlooked and now can't bear to leave where the taverna lights grow dimmer by the minute now and then are hard to make out as a dwelt-on memory and then and now are gone. Inspired by the miraculously mercurial potential of words, Stephen Yenser takes readers on a heady trip through a world full of promise yet compromised by human weakness. Set in sunny southern California and Greece, the poems of "Blue Guide" cast the shadow of mortality, and the tones are elegiac. This combination of the deadly serious and the exuberant is natural, Yenser notes; after all, work and orgy share the same etymological root, as do travail and travel, pledge and play. Using various poetic modes, Yenser offers, here, a quatrain written to name a painting by Dorothea Tanning; a sequence of poems for his daughter; an excursive poem at once about Los Angeles and Baghdad and his father and a petty criminal; a group of prose poems set in penumbral bars; some postcards to a dead friend; and a meditation prompted by a sojourn on a remote Aegean island. The most unexpected work is an assemblage of quotations and glosses in the tradition of the commonplace book, except that in Yenser's hands these entries are densely interrelated.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 96
Weight: 170 g
Dimensions: 22 x 18 x 1 mm
"The Phoenix Poets list contains a number of poets currently on my list of favorites. This is a strong, vital series that has given voice to some of the best voices in American poetry today." - Billy Collins "Yenser is a justly celebrated critic.... [He] sees the beauty that can arise from an intelligent playfulness.... Above all, Yenser has learned Merrill's Freudian lesson - how quickly playfulness leads to the most uncomfortable, central, yet elusive psychic content." - Alan Williamson, American Poetry Review"
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