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Skirts and Slacks : Poems

Di Piero, W. S.

20 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375411534 / ISBN 13: 9780375411533
Published by Knopf, 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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SIGNED by W.S. Di Piero on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 0707286

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Skirts and Slacks : Poems

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine


Edition: First Edition

About this title


W. S. Di Piero, a fresh and powerful voice in American poetry, opens this collection about public and private worlds with poems that revist the deaths of his parents. It is an important adult passage for him, and for them a last chance to leave a message: his father lying in bed, "bemused and contemptuous / of the hell in which he lay"; his mother soon to be laid out in the cheap gold flats "that made her look young and men look twice." Di Piero writes poems of relationships, of ordinary beauty, of the deep, vsieral memories that shape who we become. He reveals the art in the everyday--sometimes literally, as when he spies a Vermeer beauty in a girl with nose studs at the ATM, or Van Gogh's self-portrait in a small-time bookie. Whether describing the uncertainty of sexual love ("...your footpads / wet after a bath / left prints like / our conversations / every which way") or a panhandler in Port Authority ("Show you to your bus / or an excellent candy bar?"), he is delicate and direct at once, a no-nonsense guide to his surroundings who is moved by what he sees. His strong, elegantly simple statements of truths of feeling go beyond the pleasure of the words themselves and restore us to the thrill of honesty in our own lives.

From the Back Cover:

"Di Piero has a great talent for close description . . . Particularly fine [is] the elegy for his parents, 'White Blouse White Shirt,' which ends on a note authentically sublime. Di Piero's poems cling tenaciously to the real and hold out for something more true; they scour the world to see past it." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A master of impressionistic candlelight, Di Piero is precise and empathetic . . . Between the everyday and the lofty, illuminated by 'mildly crazed words,' these thoughtful poetic compositions combine serious imagery with 'truth in words' . . . Refreshing poetry that gets better with reading." -- Library Journal

"Di Piero consistently injects Kleinzahlerian whimsy into his short lyrics, along with pathos-laden descriptions of depression's quotidian. This solemn attention to nature can mutate into Boccaccio-like satire . . . His ear is a great deal sharper than most poets chronicling their art- and writing-centered lives." -- Publishers Weekly

"W. S. Di Piero's poems have a different relationship to reality from what you find in most other poets' work. When I publish one of his poems about Philadelphia, I get letters from people saying they know the neighborhood he's talking about; sometimes they even know the block he's talking about. When I read his poems about his father and mother and other relatives, I can see them, or hear them speak, or sense the way they moved around and wore clothes and occupied space. Very little contemporary poetry has this quality--this allegiance to something that exists, or existed--and to me it's one of the most valuable functions poetry can have." --Wendy Lesser

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