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Argonaut Rose (Signed First Edition)

Diane Wakoski

17 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1574230476 / ISBN 13: 9781574230475
Published by Black Sparrow Press, 1998
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1998. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. One of 100 numbered copies SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. New in acetate dust jacket. A perfect unread copy. Bookseller Inventory # 3790

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Argonaut Rose (Signed First Edition)

Publisher: Black Sparrow Press

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title


Such was the oracle that Pelias heard, that a hateful doom awaited him--to be slain at the prompting of the man whom he should see coming forth from the people with but one sandal. And no long time after, in accordance, with that true report, Jason crossed the stream of wintry Anaurus on foot and saved one sandal from the mire, but the other he left in the depths held back by the flood. And straightway he came to Pelias to share the banquet which the king was offering to his father Poseidon and the rest of the gods, though he paid no honor to Pelasgian Hera. Quickly the king saw him and pondered, and devised for him the toil of a troublous voyage, in order that on the sea or among strangers he might lose his home-return.


In the mid-1960's I lucked upon my first Diane Wakoski poems in Four Young Lady Poets. A few years later, 1968, I read Inside the Blood Factory, a killer early collection, and have been a fan of her work since, though less absorbed by her book-length metaphysical cycles than by collections built around content-laden poetic essays, expansive concretism, motorcycled eroticism and detailed letter poems with her voice's edgy intimate personalized topicality. Wakoski's interests are myriad; the territory of her work broad. In Argonaut Rose, poems are arranged into a mythic expanse, an "archeology of movies and books" subsectioned into imaginative clusters inspired by R.C. Seaton's translation of Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica. Wakoski's earlier books, Medea the Sorceress (1991) and Jason the Sailor (1993), initiated her poetic exploration of the quest of the Argo for the winged and magical fleece. Absorbing classical origins tie the poem of Argonaut Rose to lengthy human bloodlines, but much of the poems' arc and power, as well as their variety and immediacy, is of the moment and the now. Lines such as "Aramis/or Chloe. Imagine/sleeping with the wearers/of these paintings? or watching them dress/in the morning?" (from "Old Embroidered Chinese Robes in the Ann Arbor Museum ") or "...I am the sailor's daughter, born in the Old West, a girl who dreamed of/riding silver-bridled horses and being at the yacht club with the rich..." (from "Red Bandanna ") demonstrate Wakoski's skillfulness at moving the allegorical and ancient into the personal present. One finds in the poems of Argonaut Rose Wakoski's characteristic estrangement-Californian affirmed to the Michigan midwestern landscape, classicist writing momentary notes to friends, conversationalist of the long-distance phone link, alchemic professor of the poem glimpsed "like Garbo going out for groceries/in her shades." Yet, there's warmth, appreciation and acceptance, as in the lines " own American eyes/light up/silver spaces," (from "the Barn ") or " I drive down my main street in this mid-western town/whose yellow glowing streetlights at night/give it the exactness of an Edward Hopper painting" (from "El Camino Real: For Jerry Rothenberg, who now lives in Southern California where I no longer live "), a pliable territorial anchor, perhaps more affirming than one expects to discover in Ms. Wakoski's work. And there are books, movies, friends and mentors, flowers and emeralds to propagate the germinal Greek myths-all sources of analogic relationship, cultural point-counterpoint and historical attention. Argonaut Rose is a strong and rewarding book by a notable and always inventive poet. -- From Independent Publisher

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