Robert Phillips is a prominent figure in what has been called America's neglected "transition generation"-poets born in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Spinach Days is his sixth full-length collection, following his critically acclaimed Breakdown Lane (Johns Hopkins, 1994), named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. In content and in its various use of forms, Spinach Days is Phillips' most innovative book yet. There are long narratives and short lyrics, villanelles and somonkas, haiku and found poems, free verse and eclogues, on subjects ranging from St. Francis to the Holocaust, from Jung's concept of the anima to a particular bit of American folklore on the gangster John Dillinger. Throughout, the poet's memory is the cohesive force, mixing events of childhood with adulthood, rural life with big-city life, love with loss, and humorous events with tragic ones. Phillips reveals himself to be a master of closure, and he writes as one who delights in the liveliness of language and wordplay.
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 112
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
The long title poem of Robert Phillips' sixth collection wryly evokes his days as a broke intern at an advertising agency in 1950's Manhattan... Phillips has a chatty, mellow voice that is appealingly textured... Throughout, Phillips's unaffected ease with formalism proves his greatest strength. A section of poems concerning love and sex possesses a gleeful streak of malice. He also works crisply in traditional forms ranging from villanelles to eclogues. -- Megan Harlan * New York Times Book Review *
Spinach Days is poetry at its best-plain spoken and yet melodic, formal without reading like limericks, intelligent without being bombastic... It's the kind of book that makes the reader dog-ear the pages... Phillips is a poet of rare talent whose works will be read long after most of his contemporaries have faded away. -- Eric Miles Williamson * Literal Latte *
These poems are a delight to read for their unpretentious craft and their flight from the orthodoxy of the obscure and the extreme. Phillips uses form with an ease that belies his artfulness and makes plain statements that belie the depth and complexity of the emotions he captures. * Virginia Quarterly Review *