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The Auroras: New Poems Hardcover – March 20, 2012
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“Read these poems slowly because this kind of writing does not happen overnight… THE AURORAS is luxurious whether dealing with the ordinary or the magnificent.” (Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books)
From the Back Cover
An exciting, long-awaited collection from the National Book Award finalist, a poet of wild imagination and formidable accomplishment
David St. John's new collection of poetry, The Auroras, is the most provocative, adventurous, and stylistically eclectic work of his career. Composed as a triptych of three distinct movements, it opens with a sequence of urgent, subversive, sensually charged poems, crackling with desire.
In the center section, St. John returns to the California landscapes of his youth, in both the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These poems are quiet and measured, yet often psychologically troubling.
The final section of The Auroras is constructed as an album of philosophical and aesthetic meditations, all haunted by the force of an emerging sense of mortality. In this collection, even the most compelling emanations of light—artistic, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual—are inevitably framed by impending darkness.
The beauty, music, and artistry of David St. John's poetry have been long admired; now The Auroras reveals the extent and breadth of his masterful poetic achievement.
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Top Customer Reviews
[Digression: I'm aware that this latter feature is ubiquitous in contemporary verse, and where the heck did it come from? And what the heck is it supposed to accomplish? Convey that the the poet is speaking so urgently that he doesn't have time to write three characters instead of one? Or rather, type three characters instead of one, since one effect of the practice is to fix the reader's attention firmly on the fact that the poet is writing the poem on a machine rather than composing by handwriting or orally. Maybe this is some misguided attempt to give an atmosphere of "spontaneity" in a machine age, but what in turn is the point of that? Isn't "and" just as spontaneous as "&"? And what's the value of spontaneity in poetry anyway? If spontaneity were valuable in itself, farts would smell sweet. End of digression.]
Anyway, I find all this diminishes what could be some interesting poems. The cummings-like use of internal spaces as quasi-musical rests is now old hat and always has seemed to me a technique of dubious value: its effect here reminds me of how the boss making his annual speech at the company Christmas party will punctuate it with long pauses to emphasize that what he has just said is Sincere and Important.Read more ›
How can I keep my life luminous & how can I keep the day delivered?
Where does my constant taste for evasion end & the alter begin?
Where does the word become the Word & why does the flesh remain flesh?
Will keep to re-read & re-read.
St. John's use of the English language and his poetic constructions set a challenge for me while entertaining me with the music of the line