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The Redshifting Web: New & Selected Poems Paperback – May 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556590881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556590887
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spare and declarative, Sze's poems make an indirect case for the connectedness of ideas and objects, of cultural past and personal present. In "Viewing Photographs of China" the poet accurately characterizes his modus operandi: "And instead of insisting that/ the world have an essence, we/ juxtapose, as in a collage,/ facts, ideas, images." Sze is at his strongest in this new and selected collection when working imagistically, offering brief, lucid descriptions of striking tableaus that display their intellectual roots almost coyly: "As a stone drops into a pool and red koi// swim toward the point of impact, we set/ a yarrow stalk aside and throw 'Duration,'// glimpse a spiral of bats ascend out of a cave;/ one by one they flare off into indigo air." His deeply considered visions of the nature-culture bind draw on the complexities of Chinese-American affiliation, and seemingly on Sze's experiences teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He handles culturally talismanic material with careful, absorbing disinterest: "here skid marks on I-25 mark a head-on collision;/ ...here a man writes in grass style: huan wo he shan;/ ...here a dog drags a horse's leg back from the arroyo." As in his wonderful translations of classical Chinese poetry, the sureness of Sze's language and the clarity of his eye present a compelling picture of a world whose wholeness must be taken on faith. (May) FYI: Sze was recently awarded $105,000 by the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation to promote and teach poetry in the Southwest.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Winner of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, among others, Sze (Archipelago, Copper Canyon, 1995) is a second-generation Chinese American poet who has taught for more than a decade at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. This volume includes selections from his previous five books plus a generous assortment of new poems. Sze's poetry may well be far too elusive for those demanding a poem to mean as well as be. In one poem, we are encouraged to "cultivate private languages," and in another a "broken radio" is preferred over the TV news. As Sze characterizes his method: "you knock the/ gyroscope off the axis of spinning,/ so that one orientation in the world vanishes/ and the others appear infinite." These "other" orientations often yield a bewildering kaleidoscope of images that challenge coherence, though Sze helps some by suggesting that "the mind magnetizes/ everything it touches. A knife in a dog/ has nothing to do/ with the carburetor of an engine: to all appearances,/ to all appearances." Not for everyone, but libraries with good modern poetry collections should consider.?Thomas F. Merrill, Univ. of Delaware
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you don't know Sze's work, this is a good place to start, and if you do it's a fine "Best of" collection with a few new poems added. I liked it a great deal, and kept picking it up and rereading some of the poems. However, Sze isn't one of my favorite poets, and after some thought I finally decided why. He belongs to the school of poets (both Western and Eastern) who see everything in the universe as interconnected and every part, from a dragonfly to a planet, as emblematic of the whole. In some of his more recent poems, I felt that he just presented lengthy lists of objects or events (however memorably described) and left it up to the reader to make the connection between them. While often the result can be enlightening, for me this sometimes injected too much intellectual effort into the process of appreciating a poem -- which, to my way of thinking, should be more like a lightning flash that illuminates the whole landscape. Also, the specificity of some of his allusions troubled me. He'll briefly mention an event that loomed large in local news, so I (as a local) will have an intense reaction to it -- but does he expect someone from (say) Dubuque to have as strong a reaction? Which reaction did he intend when he mentioned that event, and how does that affect the way a reader "takes" the whole poem? Again, his ex-wife is a well-known Hopi weaver; does knowing about this emotional connection change the way you read some of his allusions to Hopi beliefs? At one point he mentions her pulverizing bugs in a blender -- is the reader supposed to think that she's practicing a refined form of cruelty to insects, or are we expected to recognize that she's making cochineal dye?Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Arthur Sze introduces the reader to an original way of thinking embodied in the the old Hua Yen school of Buddhism. Hua Yen (Kegon in Japan) believes all places and times exist in all other places and times. Events are a reflection of an infinite set of dimensions -- each one relfelcted in the other. The "Redshifting Web" a collection of Sze's poetry has the sensibility of infinite dimension universal life, not a common perspective in any poet. If your are interested in this viewpoint you should look into the "Flower Ornament Scripture" a tanslation of a Buddhist sutra by Thomas Cleary. Another poet with a similar, but more zen/dadistic-inspired vista is Takahashi in "The of Triumph of the Sparrow." If you want to see and hear more ---Sze is your man.
The mouse has a white eye where the river rages not far from the orange on your table...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Arthur Sze introduces the reader to an original way of thinking embodied in the the old Hua Yen school of Buddhism. Hua Yen (Kegon in Japan) believes all places and times exist in all other places and times. Events are a reflection of an infinite set of dimensions -- each one relfelcted in the other. The "Redshifting Web" a collection of Sze's poetry has the sensibility of infinite dimension universal life, not a common perspective in any poet. If your are interested in this viewpoint you should look into the "Flower Ornament Scripture" a tanslation of a Buddhist sutra by Thomas Cleary. Another poet with a similar, but more zen/dadistic-inspired vista is Takahashi in "The of Triumph of the Sparrow." If you want to see and hear more ---Sze is your man.
The mouse has a white eye where the river rages not far from the orange on your table...
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