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Beyond: New Poems Paperback – September 1, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

At first glance, Goldbarth's poems look like nothing more than a gorgeous pile-up of odd facts, but look again; the poet carefully structures his work for maximum effect, bringing together a rich array of information that helps reshape our view of the world. "No one can so deftly draw as many large and disparate chunks of the world into a poem," observed LJ reviewer Fred Muratori when recommending this work.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A National Book Critics Circle Award winner for his Heaven and Earth, and the author of numerous other volumes of verse, Goldbarth relies on a wealth of odd facts and arcane information as points of departure for his often gimmicky poems. Self- co nscious to a fault, Goldbarth tries to ingratiate himself with readersan air of desperation lurks behind his chummy demeanor in poem after anecdotal poem, many of which return to his recurrent effort to link past and present, high and low culture, and the mythic with the everyday. The last is dramatized in the narrative sequence Heart on a Chain (divided as sonnets): here, a female archaeologist, far from her lover, says yes to ectoplasm while exploring the spirits of the dead. In the long narrative The T wo Domains, the ghosts of the past converge directly with the present when a ghostbuster is hired by a notions manufacturer to exorcize the restless spirits from a warehouselike many of Goldbarths poems, it ends with a Vonnegut-like so it goes, and a reaf firmation of how little we know. Two Cents similarly reminds us that everybody/alive is small against the dead, as we are in the scheme of science, at least as rendered in Goldbarths pop-NOVA versions of unusual phenomena, whether pixels or pink river dol phins. More tummler, barker, and prankster than poet, Goldbarth patches together poems from the thinnest material: his pile-on sensibility cries out for an editorial pencil, despite his affable personality throughout the volume. -- Copyright ©19 98, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 103 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; 1 edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156792087X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567920871
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,708,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'll mostly confine myself to being oppositional. The Kirus Review appraisal of the book is silly, and I'd hate it to be the only one accompanying the book on this service. Golbarth is a very good poet. Few poets writing have his knack for producing gorgeously textured sounds out of the most improbable materials or for showing (or creating) compelling connections between seemingly disparate ideas or oddities. So, while _Beyond_ isn't Goldbarth's best book, it's far from being as slapdash or long-winded as the blurb from Kirkus would have us believe. Indeed, the poems are in the main quite well-constructed. What Kirkus calls "his pile-on sensibility" is actually a very careful and structured style that shouldn't be so easily dismissed, and the fact that the poems are energetic at the same time they're cautious about easy answers doesn't mean they're desperate. For example, "News from Home" displays many of the traits Kirkus dislikes but, though not a great poem (and far from the best in the book), is certainly an intelligent, lush take on what does and doesn't change in human life as centuries roll by. Our anonymous friend at Kirkus calls Goldbarth "[m]ore tummler, barker, and prankster than poet," and I must admit that I'm not quite sure what this means. Poetry doesn't need to be fustian, confessional, or arch to be wise and moving. I may not know what Kirkus means, but I do know that a _poet_ wrote "Two Cents," which is a lovely poem (and it's to have Goldbarth's two cents thrown into the canon debates). A poet capable of restrained meditation on family history and inequity wrote "Even; Equal." And a poet who understands suffering, longing, and love gave us "Meop." The book isn't certainly isn't crying out for an editor's pencil, though I can't necessarily say the same for all its reviewers.
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By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Just want to second the other customer review: Goldbarth's poetry is complicated and exciting stuff. The anonymous Kirkus Reviewer must not read much poetry if s/he doesn't understand that.
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