Catherine Imbriglio Parts of the Mass

ISBN 13: 9781886224810

Parts of the Mass

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Poetry. Winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award, selected by Thylias Moss. "Catherine Imbriglio's first collection of poems PARTS OF THE MASS uses the Mass as a framework for her own stunningly original poems. Here we have language of the internal juxtaposed with the ancient holy and modern secular worlds. Her moving phrases come from many sources but are chosen brilliantly to surprise, disturb, and delight us. Many of the poems want to be read aloud. They convey a faultless and timeless rhythm even as the words themselves bear images of our own lives. This most original view into the Mass leaves you knowing you have entered a secret, ironic, yet darkly imagined world"-Marjorie Milligan.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The languages of scientific discourse and of Roman Catholic liturgy and theology add a measure of high seriousness to the playful investigations in verse and prose of Imbriglio's experimental debut. While it may be difficult at times to discern the reasoning that guides Imbriglio's spirited arrangement of sentences within a poem, or even words within a sentence, the book's insistently interesting verbal structures, textures and cadences suggest that the poet's responsiveness to language's physical properties is often her chief (and sometimes sole) interest and organizing principle. Occasionally, this aural fixation leads to clanging ("Here. Heresay. In here you'd say") and even silliness, as in her homophonic translation of Laudamus te ("We praise you," from the Gloria of the Latin Mass): "Loud, ah, uh, ah, uh, arm, moose, day, 'A.'/ Loud, ah, uh, ah, uh, I'm, mousse, te, eh?" However when Imbriglio commits to subtler effects, or to a less complicated expressiveness, she rewards the reader with an almost preternatural beauty ("The light on the cherry trees elaborates the fallen petals of the cherry trees") and a wonder-riddled quirkiness ("A fact we all agreed not to acknowledge: a billion Gainsboroughs into the space of this o"). These are moments wholly worth waiting for. (Apr.)
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