For the Scribe - Pitt Poetry Series (Paperback)David Wojahn (author)
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Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Number of pages: 104
Weight: 204 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"Recipient of numerous accolades and author of nearly a dozen books, Wojahn (World Tree) delivers a sophisticated, meticulously erudite collection. Most prominent is a series of baroque mash-ups, in which he mediates on two seemingly disparate yet intricately connected entities or ideas: 'Paradise Lost' and a history of the noose; music producer turned murderer Phil Spector and Incan death rites; the evolution of wolves into dogs and drones over Waziristan. One especially moving example blends an elegy for the poet Reginald Shepherd with a long walk through museum taxidermy: 'There you are, pinned in the lyric distance, small point of reference I call love.' The remainder of the book is packed with scattered curiosities and odd novelties, examined by a poetic, insatiable persona, taking up FOXP2 (a gene linked to speech); Nim Chimpsky (one of the first chimpanzees to learn American Sign Language); and Gar.Una of Uruk (the first recorded signature, from 5,000 years ago). A work of extraordinary range and grace."
"From his startling first book Icehouse Lights to the great integrity, virtuosity, and emotional power of For the Scribe, the poetry of David Wojahn has met the highest standards of achievement. Poems insightful, inclusive, and deeply felt, of celebration and of love--poems of morally urgent testimony to the most pressing social, political, and cultural issues of our time and to the art of poetry itself--For the Scribe contains poetry's every truth.'"
"With the imaginative sweep that's a hallmark of David Wojahn's work, the poems in For the Scribe are electric in their vitality. Here are the tragedies that define our time; here, also, are the powers of shaped sound--from vocalization to music, from primal utterance to the notes of the crested warbler to Sonny Boy Williamson's delta blues. Through a swirl of time frames and historical figures, we meet, in one poem, Pizarro and Dee Dee Ramone; in another, Ezra Pound, Che Guevara, Osama bin Laden, and 'a pirate copy of Titanic' humming from a VCR. At times shocking, at times humorous, at times fueled by rage, the juxtapositions in this extraordinary book are, in the end, both separate and united. They quiver together like filings on a magnet: This is our fractured world."
Past praise for David Wojahn
"Wojahn does not settle for some vague ameliorative 'forgiveness'; he is capable of white-hot political outrage. Furthermore, he is willing to insist on the moral and political necessity of outrage. What he does do, with tonic results throughout this beautiful book, is to render the limits and imperatives that make us human. Like [Muriel] Rukeyser, Wojahn writes poetry for grown-ups; no patience for evasion, no low-stakes sentiment about the past; no drifts to inattention. No excuses."
--Linda Gregerson in American Poets on World Tree
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