Nervous Forces (Alef Series of Poetry and Verse Translation : 3)

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9781882509027: Nervous Forces (Alef Series of Poetry and Verse Translation : 3)

Book by Gustavson, Jeffrey

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From Publishers Weekly:

First books of poetry are too easily overlooked, and that fate would be especially unfortunate for Nervous Forces . The collection is a feat of virtuosity--a lexical pressure-cooker of playful monologues, lyrical rants and shrewdly drawn suburban portraits. Gustavson's linguistic sleights of hand infuse pseudo-mundane insights with enormous ingenuity; or, on the other hand, impart obscure words with unexpected insight. As the title suggests, the poems are buoyed by an agitated sensibility. And as the word ``nervous'' also suggests, they are crafted with a sinewy style that is admirable for its intellectual breadth. One reads a delicate lyric titled ``Letter to My Brother'' on one page and then, on the next, a delightfully comic monologue in the voice of Ishmael as he toils in hell: ``No one swindled me out of my / Preliminary lucidity!'' As if these cards weren't enough to fill a deck, the book closes with a series of sparse, chiseled poems that leave nothing wanting in terms of imagistic precision: ``A narrow / Yellow leaf falls / Like a canoe / Upon a broad / Green leaf.''

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Gustavson, Jeffrey
Published by Alef Books (1994)
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