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Imagination Verses Paperback – December, 1996

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Paperback, December, 1996
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Tender Buttons Books (December 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0927920077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0927920070
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,583,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It is a brave thing for a poet of Moxley's 30-ish generation, raised on the skeptical and purposeful obfuscations of L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry, to allow herself to write lyrics in the original sense. An overflow of emotion at the recognition of the beloved is poured through musical language: "each time I walk into you my city-bound Greyhound/ rolls through rain drenched streets,/ a lightscape of traffic and wonderous people/ lies ahead...." Calling upon elegant allusions ("unstitch Minerva and the Earth awakes"), wry colloquialisms ("a big budget house in the country") and the informed use of archaic constructions ("bedded be my wilderness/ bookish my landscape and sea"), Moxley skillfully avoids both an oversimplified rhetoric of self and an easy irony. An acute social critic is also at work, finding femininity obliquely pushed through the media's language of commerce: "It's as if to be real/ you and I must garner backers/ without a rib to call our own." Like George Oppen and Susan Howe, Moxley uses language to sweep our literary heritage out from beneath "the towering worry of fin de siecle," informing a present that is simultaneously personal and political: "We might lust for others, but never may/ obscure meaning/ in a claim of taken space." In this accomplished debut collection-dedicated "To my Contemporaries"-a remarkably distinctive voice speaks directly to our hearts and minds.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


This is a moving & accomplished real book of lyric poetry, the kind of work that comes around very rarely. That is, the contemporary American poetry scene is highly energized, there is a lot of talent out there, but rarely does a poet bring it all together in one volume as stirringly as Moxley has. It's extraordinary. -- Henry Gould To read a Moxley poem is to submerge oneself in a world of chance and possibility while never being allowed to forget the limits that reality, the reality of the self and of the literal, imposes on such notions of utopia or freedom. -- Lucy Sheerman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Some books of verse one permits to accompany one on the train, into the countryside, out to lunch, into waiting rooms, to the table at dinner, in a car, to the park, etc. Very few (in fact none, or perhaps one or two others, in our present period) *accompany* one, in the great sense of that word, into bed, and from there to the inside of one's very being, and remain lodged and embroidered yet autonomously murmuring there, probably as long as one lives.
Imagination Verses is beautiful, beguiling, bled from the pen of someone wracked; it is full of youthful mistakes and of dizzying genius.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Harwell Sayler on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading this book evokes a desire to pinpoint, peg, find an adjective for elusive lines containing wordplays, social commentaries, and interesting metaphors, but the word that consistently comes to mind is quirky. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes abstruse, the unpredictable poems open up to all sorts of possibilities.

So, how does one rate such poetic potential? The poet's close acquaintance with poetry rates all stars, of course, but, at times, inaccessibility mars the lines and chills the star temp before warming again with such astute statements as "even the weather/ stood aside and let us pass." Consider, too, such slow-blooming assessments as "I suspect the water's edge is enamored of the water" or unusual lines like "I the she the leased forever."

Moxley's imaginative verse grows on you and bears repeating without worrying about wearing out your welcome. As one upfront poem declares, "All orphaned overstuffs are welcomed here/ as are rickety wood. And on that note/ broken things may stay as long as they please." Presumably, that welcome mat includes an invitation to read these poems again and look for those that follow.
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