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Door to a Noisy Room Paperback – January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Alice James Books; First edition. edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882295668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882295661
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,857,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Waldor's deliberate, terse, sometimes wise debut shows how many emotions and situations can grow from one small set of stylistic tools. His short poems in slow, clear, clipped free-verse lines, all of which break on the phrase (the masters failed/ to pass through/ the needles), include lust, frustration, scenes from Jewish history, a lover's generosity in bed, a worshipper's ambivalence towards his God, and a son's respect for his late father. The best poems (sometimes the shortest) bring two or more of these situations together, as in Insurance Man (Waldor's father's profession): Shepherds always/ want a shepherd./ Even the Lord asks. A poem about a tryst (perhaps a honeymoon) concludes by asking Are others like me:/ ruthless and brilliant/ before love, and afterwards/ a lamb? Another standout considers Uriah the Hittite, loyal/ soldier, husband from one standpoint, enemy/ of Israel from another. Waldor's interests are finally less prayerful than familial, humane, and loyal to the good people and the simple delights of this world. (Jan.)
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Review

"Waldor’s spare irony—sometimes tender, sometimes bawdy—deals in dichotomies: love and hate, frailty and strength, fear and faith. These elliptical and colloquial lyrics draw equally from parable, prayer, and elegy. Hesitating on the threshold between isolation and community, the poet focuses a distortingly accurate microscope on what matters in our lives. "...familial, humane, and loyal to the good people and the simple delights of this world."—Publishers Weekly

“It’s such a delight when something catches you by surprise and makes you read on—and on. So it is with Waldor, a superb lyric, gnomic and Gnostic poet.”—Gerald Stern

"The reader must learn to forfeit expectation and simply tune in, like listening to a koan...these poems generously reward the concentration their language demands. Waldor asks us to listen to the noisy world as he hears it, and he opens our ears."—Boston Review

"What strange rooms and quirky music Waldor's poems open onto. His vision proves to us that the imaginal and the rational share equal claims on perception. The heart/mind of this work spiritualizes the material and materializes the soul."—Li-Young Lee

"Door to a Noisy Room has the darkness, glitter, and hardness of obsidian. In this work, the heat of the passions has cooled to an elemental simplicity. Like obsidian the poems have been polished into jewels or napped to the keenest blade. They are beautiful and they are sharp."—Lynn Emanuel



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Peter Waldor's poems make me pause, stop, stumble and feel grateful. They take a long, close look at the pleasures and satisfactions of family life. In a world that is frightening and terrifying, it is exhilarating to read love poems written by a man who revels in his roles as father and son. Waldor also writes beautifully about the Old Testament, and neighborhoods in New Jersey. He takes nothing for granted and notes it all. Check out, "Warmth," "Goodbye Manny Seepe," "Spine," "Pear of My Nose," "Dancer" and "Blue Bells." They are a joy.
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Format: Paperback
The poems of Peter Waldor carry us into the world we left behind, the world of ourselves that we lost somewhere along the way to becoming who we were never really meant to be. This is the world of meaning that we long for as we long for love and forgiveness. It is a world of silence and stillness awaiting our return.
Here on the marsh behind my house in Maine, I hide in the tree line just at dawn with my retriever, and my shotgun, and the poet's poems, waiting for ducks and geese to appear in the empty sky above my head. I read the words just above a whisper as the gold light of a new morning sifts through the honey colored dune grass and a soft breeze rises from the cove. Every now and then the dog turns his head and looks at me as if he has suddenly understood what the poet has written.
Don J. Snyder
Scarborough Maine
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