*Starred Review* Almost as parsimonious at publishing his work as Henry Taylor (four collections in 40 years), Gioia gives us his fourth collection 25 years after the first, Daily Horoscope, and, like Taylor, makes every collection worth the wait. At the book’s center is “Haunted,” a story of relaxed blank verse in which a man explains how he came to be a monk. Completely absorbing, it has its confrere in the four-stanza “Being Happy,” which also focuses on a youthful love affair. Another on the same theme is the incompletely end-rhymed “Cold San Francisco” (known as a champion of formal verse, Gioia often rhymes strategically and musically, however, rather than strictly). Verging upon light verse but eschewing the merely funny are “The Seven Deadly Sins” and “Pity the Beautiful.” A little heavier are the bittersweet meditation on mortality, “Finding a Box of Family Letters”; the bold satire, “The Freeways Considered as Earth Gods”; and the serious parody of the Beatitudes, “Prayer at Winter Solstice.” Two poems recalling the poet’s greatest personal tragedy, “Special Treatments Ward” and “Majority,” close the second and fifth sections of the book. Finally, setting the Americanism of Gioia’s own work in relief are translations of poems by two modern Italians, Mario Luzi and Bartolo Cattafi. Great riches in remarkably few pages. --Ray Olson
Gioia is a wonderful poet. If you haven't experienced his writing - I recommend you do!Published 9 months ago by Elizabeth Vrenios
Pity The Beautiful, Where’s the Pulitzer?
With Pity The Beautiful, Dana Gioia leaps into the front rank of American poets, in my view. Read more
Boo. If you're into neoformalist poetry and/or like to be preached to you'll dig it. It's all very skillfully done of course. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Travis
Gioia's work is a remarkably beautiful masterpiece. Often the commonplace masks the beauty of his words. But he constantly amazes.Published 15 months ago by Davey Jones
It is exciting to find such high quality poetry of such wide ranging beauty and wit. Every poem is a surprise. Exquisite and unforgettable.Published 19 months ago by Beverley R. Enright
This may be Gioia's best book so far. Without making a false step, these poems quietly and modestly make the case for Gioia is a major neo-classist poet in the vein of such... Read morePublished on June 17, 2013 by Music Maniac
These poems are very nearly perfect. Deeply rooted both in tradition and in his own place and time, the formal poems are effortlessly fluid and the free verse is measured and... Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Elena Johnston
Gloia is not an abtuse language poet. He tells stories in his poems. I bought this book
to give a rational poet my dollars. Read more
Listening to NPR in the car on Thanksgiving Day 2012, Mr. Gioia read 'Prayer at Winter Solstice' and gave a perspective on being thankful that I'd never conceived of. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Rob W.