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Calendars Hardcover – April 1, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her third full-length collection, Finch focuses on the cyclical and seasonal, centering on themes of birth, death, family and artistic lineage, sexuality and female spirituality. Following the poems of Eve (1997), the poetics of The Ghost of Meter, and the anthologizing of An Exaltation of Forms (2002) among other books and translation work, Finch here moves through traditional and invented forms, chants and refrains, makes addresses to poets of the past, and at times deploys an exaggerated musicality that is less archaic than rooted in obsessive repetition. In "Paravaledellentine: A Paradelle," for instance, the speaker sings, "Move me the way the seas' warm sea will spend me./ Move me the way the seas' warm sea will; spend me./ Move your sea-warm come to me; will with me; spend/ tender sounds, warning me the way of the seas, the seas." Some of the most compelling poems here explore the interplay of multiple voices; in the title poem, the voices of Demeter, Chorus, Persephone and Hades chant in alternation. Other successful poems move between a voice and an echo-a doubt, a qualification or a redirected train of thought. While poems centered on (and titled after) "The Earth Goddess and Sky God" or "The Menstrual Hut" can seem more a part of a personal cosmology than a space readers will want to approach, Finch almost always draws one in with an unnerving and utterly unexpected phrase or image, as when addressing "The Moon": "Then you are the dense everywhere that moves,/ the dark matter they haven't yet walked through?" Such moments seem to contain the full duration of this book's calendars.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

In her third full-length collection, Finch focuses on the cyclical and seasonal, centering on themes of birth, death, family and artistic lineage, sexuality and female spirituality. Following the poems of Eve (1997), the poetics of The Ghost of Meter, and the anthologizing of An Exaltation of Forms (2002) among other books and translation work, Finch here moves through traditional and invented forms, chants and refrains, makes addresses to poets of the past, and at times deploys an exaggerated musicality that is less archaic than rooted in obsessive repetition. In ""Paravaledellentine: A Paradelle,"" for instance, the speaker sings, ""Move me the way the seas' warm sea will spend me./ Move me the way the seas' warm sea will; spend me./ Move your sea-warm come to me; will with me; spend/ tender sounds, warning me the way of the seas, the seas."" Some of the most compelling poems here explore the interplay of multiple voices; in the title poem, the voices of Demeter, Chorus, Persephone and Hades chant in alternation. Other successful poems move between a voice and an echo--a doubt, a qualification or a redirected train of thought. While poems centered on (and titled after) ""The Earth Goddess and Sky God"" or ""The Menstrual Hut"" can seem more a part of a personal cosmology than a space readers will want to approach, Finch almost always draws one in with an unnerving and utterly unexpected phrase or image, as when addressing ""The Moon"": ""Then you are the dense everywhere that moves,/ the dark matter they haven't yet walked through?"" Such moments seem to contain the full duration of this book's calendars.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932195041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932195040
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,698,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on July 10, 2003
Format: Perfect Paperback
Here is a poet who knows what she is doing. Rhythm, language, feeling, simplicity, complexity, surprise. Sex, time, birth, nature, art. Annie Finch transcends current categories. No wonder there are remarks from such different kinds of poets on this cover together...
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All I can say is, I am so glad I discovered Annie Finch. I wish I could know her personally. My life is very much governed by nature, and I have always felt that my personal sense of the Divine comes directly from my experience of nature. I think I first heard of Ms. Finch when I heard her poem "Samhain" on NPR. I was mesmerized. I am the most fond of her ancient/pagan work and her poems about the turning wheel of the year.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
In their radical simplicity, "aloofness," and song, the poems in Annie Finch's second book, CALENDARS, recall druidic chants, lauds which go beyond the Julian calendar. Like the old Irish tune, CALENDARS brings back, brings back a bonniness that lies over oceans of time. Finch, whose verses have charmed many of us for years, has defied F. Scott Fitzgerald's dictum that there are no second acts in America. CALENDARS makes a strong Act Two in the unfolding drama of Finch's literary career.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
(Annie Finch read as part of the West Side YMCA's Visiting Author's series on February 23, 2006. This is from my introduction to the event).

These are poems that are written to be communicated. That may seem like a self-evident thing for any poet, but many times poetry feels like it is on the page not to reach out, but to endlessly look in. Not to share, but merely to be observed. These poems do indeed look inward, but the translation of what's inside goes far beyond the everyday, and begs to be shared, to be spoken aloud, to connect with a reader's ear, with a reader's heart and mind.

There is, in many of her poems, a longing for simplicity, and alongside it the tacit acknowledgement that the goal may never be reached. There's an expression here of an alternative to accepting things "the way they are," and, with words--with a depth of understanding of their power--to try and shape things the way they could be. Her poems are wonderfully universal, while all the time getting the details right; the poems never yielding to mere observation, but getting deep down in it, tactile, vibrant, alive.
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Format: Hardcover
Annie Finch's fearless collection entitled Calendars is an intensely sensual and dramatic trip through the female landscape, by way of the poet's deepest thoughts. Within this collection, Finch discusses cyclical feminine-oriented themes relating to birth and death, spirituality and sexuality, ancestry and family.

The rhythmic chanting, the musical refrains, the melodic verses combine to form a magnificent convergence of deeply entrancing poetry offered by one of the most inspired female contemporary poets of our time. The poems, while seemingly simplistic, resonate on a deeper and more profound level once one digests the complete meaning behind Finch's passionate choice of words.

Three poems which struck me as embodying the beauty of feminism were:

"The Menstrual Hut"--a very personal discussion among two entities, seemingly that of the rational mind offering questions to the subconscious soul.

"Landing Under Water, I See Roots" speaks evocatively of our subconscious and conscious desires, our truths and our duplicities, our desire for one ultimate goal of love for all, both in giving and receiving.

"Chain of Women" is a hauntingly beautiful discussion of Persephone, the Greek-based mythological Queen of the Underworld and embodiment of the Earth's fertility.

Calendars represents a perfect collection to coincide with "Earth Day" (April 22nd) as it celebrates the blessed instances of everyday life and speaks to Mother Nature's integral roles within our lives.
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