Amy Clampitt A Silence Opens: Poems

ISBN 13: 9780679750222

A Silence Opens: Poems

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9780679750222: A Silence Opens: Poems

A final collection of poems considers the splendors and nightmares of the world and focuses and such topics as Maine fog, a bayou afternoon, and the waning old Greenwich Village crowd. Reprint.

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About the Author:

Amy Clampitt has been Writer in Residence at the College of William and Mary, Visiting Writer at Amherst College, and Grace Hazard Conkling Distinguished Writer at Smith College.

From Publishers Weekly:

When Clampitt ( What the Light Was Like ) turns to the legend of Pocahontas in her poem, "Matoaka," to uncover the woman behind the "bronze-immobilized, the heathen / princess, demure in / feathered deerskin" who has become little more now than "bric-a-brac," she finds that history, like language, needs continual reformulation: "As words do, / the words we used once, whatever they / once stood for gone. / Begin again. Go back to Majesty, / the word personified, a woman." In line with this credo, Clampitt's gravely luminous fifth volume of poems dwells, with an extraordinary certainty of language, on the uncertain texture of living. Color suffuses an evocative sequence of poems: in "White," that color of "the mirror-haunch of / pronghorn" leads next, in "Green," to the "half-membranous / sheen of birth" and then, in "Thinking Red," to "the clotted winter melancholy / of the sumac; hawthorn encrimsoned, / dogwood beaded." Finally, in "Nondescript," even the lack of color approaches an "in-betweenness, this process that's less / an advent than it is a wandering vaguely." Clampitt's landscape is still and painterly, a canvas suggestive of elegy and mourning as "the mind gropes toward its own recessional." And though her mood is somber, her rhythms are exhilarating: the poems dance with intensity as she calls up abbreviated syllabics, pointillist images, staccato litanies, parenthetical asides and quixotic questions begging: "For what? Can someone tell us?"
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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