“ . . . one of the freshest debuts in years, pushes the boundaries of the weird and inappropriate with intelligence and Joycean revelry in language that reminds us of modern art’s central mission, which is not console, but to provoke.”
“Gudding is happy to be silly. He’s out for fun, and his ‘A Defense of Poetry’ is a kind of spree of paradoes, burlesques and slapstick comedy. . . .This is good fun.”
"Gabriel Gudding takes parody seriously. A Defense of Poetry pastiches rambunctious riffs, scatological scats, and madcap myth. A modern day Lewis Carroll, Gudding is foremost a comic poet. His zany imagery, ear for the absurd, and wry timing make his stanzas stand up and sparkle."
"When you read these poems you will go ahh, you will go a little nuts, you will ask yourself who is this hussar who has taken a pint of silver polish and applied it to The Charge of the Light Brigade’? And by the relentless bravura of his pen he will answer you, and you will be made happy, you will be made glad, you will be made blinking, for a few more flamelike strokes have been added to the ongoing genesis of American poetry."
From the Author
"The title poem, a 1500 word prose poem composed of insults, was selected by David Lehman for the Scribner anthology, Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, published in April 2003. In many ways, if I had to sum it up, the book is a comment on an inability to deal with shame, on the one hand, and pity on the other, and is, in many ways, essentially Menippean satire, containing elements of the grotesque, yes, but also burlesque, lampoon, the mock heroic, and invective. The book contains poetry of both high style and dignified content and low style and tasteless content -- and it does so purposefully. Yet too, high style is then married with tasteless content and vice versa. War, violence, the body, politics, poetry, religion, family, love -- all these are seen in the light of a treatment that is, well ... how shall I put it..."
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