Carol Snow Placed: Karesansui Poems

ISBN 13: 9781933996097

Placed: Karesansui Poems

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9781933996097: Placed: Karesansui Poems
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Poetry. PLACED: KARESANSUI POEMS is a poetic sequence that juxtaposes words, phrases, quotes, and lyric excerpts in the manner of stones in a Japanese dry-landscape Zen garden: karesansui. "Subtexts" identify sources of quotations, ranging from Matsuo Bash-o to the Marx Brothers. Time is stilled here, each one- or two-line poem, for rather than about insight, is both brief and durable, inviting the reader to explore and reconsider a complex of associations.

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About the Author:

Carol Snow is the author of Artist and Model (selected by Robert Hass for the National Poetry Series and winner of the Poetry Center Book Award), For, and The Seventy Prepositions (both published by the University of California Press). She has received the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, a Poetry Fund grant, a Pushcart Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Review:

Each page of Carol Snow s remarkable book offers the reader phrases arranged like stones meant to be seen from the viewing platform of a single preposition. The poems posit 'something in time like a phrase synapsed between us,' and their movement between quotation and transcription evokes the textures of subtle, ephemeral cognitive states of relationship. Even after a brief tour of her painstakingly arranged, compassionately witty karesansui, we find our ears repositioned 'at the root of listening,' our minds newly attuned to 'effect// s effect.' This is the singular pedagogy of Placed: while her virtuosic punctuation renders visible thought s most minute interstices, Snow's meditative 'threshold language' allows us the 'ritual of entry' into a heightened awareness of perception s precarious connectivity, the 'unforeseeable: between.'" --Brian Teare

Through splicing and interweaving the voices of others through her own, Snow develops a haunting chorus of contemplation on what it means to be around, among, within. This delicate, masterful book joins Zukofsky, Waldrop, and others in a growing body of work honoring the preposition and the primacy of relationships over objects. Linking disparate fragments through their musicality, Snow shows us how connection makes meaning. --Cole Swensen

Continuing her happy exploration of the intricacies of linguistic accident, attention, and intention, Carol Snow here presents a swirl of voices rising. Yet they rise with such fascinating arguing that eventually one reads this book like one reads a guidebook on a pilgrimage, turning corners and recognizing not because of the descriptions but because of the sounds made by describing. This poetry advances by quotation, and in the poem 'Athwart,' the quoted question is: 'Ordinary, or holy?' The answer is, both, and the answer is this book. --Bin Ramke

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