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Other People (Phoenix Poets) [Paperback]

Peter Campion
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 1, 2005 0226092755 978-0226092751
Poem to Fire

Fast transparency that explodes the fuel and air
in the cylinder and shuts the intake valves and thrusts
down on the piston so the crankshaft spins and spins

you cut through all material that blocks your way
so fast that driving now past rushes and billboards
this pull to her could be your own impersonal presence

cloaked in the day to day of the malls and condos
all those wired sensors keeping on guard for you
except you flicker even inside the wet wall

where papillary muscle makes that sweet pulsation
in whatever room she's moving through this moment
under the cotton and the cool smoothness tinted blue

In this debut collection, Peter Campion explores both the gaps and the connections between the self and others. Like the "night blooming jasmine leaving its warm trace," these poems arise out of the dark. A man awakens in a hotel room to find the neighboring voices merging with the anguished souls of his nightmare. A woman living alone beside the ocean hears the words of the dead echo in the crashing waves. But if these poems convey a feeling of an enduring emptiness, they also offer us the most vital intimacies. In one poem, two lovers traverse the industrial sweep of strip malls and office towers to arrive at their rendezvous. In another, the seemingly simple memory of a mother playing with her sons at a park bridges a chasm of pain and loss.

With great poise, keen insight, and formal skill, Campion moves between shared experience and interior life in the shifting textures of Other People. Whether writing in rhymed couplets or free verse, he matches a deep understanding of the poetic tradition with his own imaginative feel for structure.

"The 'other people' of the title of this extraordinary book are fully alive in the life of its language; and so is the poet observing them, and observing himself, as one of them. The book is a sympathetic and unsentimental instrument of truth."—David Ferry

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In my opinion, Phoenix Poets - which includes David Ferry, Turner Cassity, Donald Davie, Tom Sleigh, Alan Shapiro and the like - is second to none." - Richard Wilbur "The 'other people' of the title of this extraordinary book are fully alive in the life of its language; and so is the poet observing them, and observing himself, as one of them. The book is a sympathetic and unsentimental instrument of truth." - David Ferry"

About the Author

Peter Campion is the Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University. A recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry, Campion is also the author of a book on the art of Mitchell Johnson.

Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Poets
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226092755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226092751
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Boston in 1976. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to make art of some kind. My first poems were private scribblings, tracings from the Oxford Anthology that my parents (by some odd stroke of luck) had on their bookshelf, and mangled pre-adolescent cris de couers. I was lucky to have good teachers in High School and college. Now, I myself enjoy teaching very much.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Younger Poet November 21, 2010
Format:Hardcover
A bit of a disclaimer in that I know Campion a bit.

Otherwise this is an excellent collection. Campion is a very subtle, very controlled poet who works in a quiet register. The best poem in the collection is Pedal Tones, where a musician teaches the poet how to "make room inside the form." But there are many more. The book is remarkably consistent.
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