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American Linden Hardcover – October 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --Publishers Weekly
...severe, steady, surprising... a book that takes my mind and gives it a good shakingever so gently"" -- Dara Wier
""Matthew Zapruder is a dangerous poet..."" -- Dean Young
""Often whimsical, always lyric, this poetry is ceaselessly travelling; I was glad to be taken along on its journeys."" -- D. A. Powell --Review
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the drawbacks of having rooms full of books waiting for you to read them (and it's even worse if you have a library card and wide-ranging tastes) is that once in a while you hear good things about a book right after it comes out, put it on the list of "hmm, I should read that some day," and then promptly forget about it for three years. This is exactly what happened to me with Figments guitarist Matthew Zapruder's American Linden, and I'm kicking myself for not having just gone out and found a copy as soon as I heard good press about it.
Zapruder's work is the kind of stuff you read simply for the pleasure of hearing the words flow by in your head.
"Where I inspect myself
for a black and white cat
who hides my sluggishness from inspectors.
His name is Joselito."
There is a great deal of depth and definition to Zapruder's word choices; so many of these poems work so well that it's extremely difficult to find fault with a single word. (One wonders how much of this was workshopped or criticized by outside sources; one suspects the answer is "none of it.") It's work that says its piece and gets out, though you'll likely be left pondering what, exactly, that piece might be.
In an age where it seems anyone with a connection to other media are pumping out books of poetry to no end (viz. recent howlingly bad collections by Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy Carter, Jewel, Ally Sheedy, etc. etc. ad nauseam), it's nice to find someone who can work this well in both genres. Highly recommended. **** ½
It is a book made of inventive and continuous, quirky and comedic, unrolling threads of metaphor, many surprising but sensible as the cat whose "mother was a sofa, a whole/ neighborhood of comfort, support,/ understanding..." In this, and in many creative reversals and convergences, he causes elements to flow into one another, creating an odd, complex, (but not dissonant or off-putting) amalgam of yet almost intuitive experience-"when that ten AM birdfeeder skylight/ perfectly lifted/ from morning hour/ halted a moment beyond my fingertips/ to perch half still/ and three quarters in motion/ a sketch of a hummingbird..." He understands the magician's and the comedian's craft of the set up, the teasing of expectation, the timing of delivery, the slip into an unforeseen magnificence of surprise. But here it is without the magician's grandiloquent drama- this is a book and a craft and a language not caught up with or in itself but rather generous, comic, and sometimes, idiosyncratically resplendent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has undeniable power and is in no way soft. Misreading it as soft or non-threatening only reveals one's abject cynicism. Read morePublished on December 10, 2003 by Another Reader In Brooklyn
Writing about poetry is ludicrous, especially when the poems are written by Matthew Zapruder. The poems in AMERICAN LINDEN are intensely personal, not only in style of placing... Read morePublished on May 21, 2003 by Grady Harp
By turns titian and upward, American Linden is a book of pirrouettes, lilts and fanny packs packed with snack packs of wisdom unpackaged. Read morePublished on November 18, 2002