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A Trick of Sunlight: Poems Paperback – June 23, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0804010894 ISBN-10: 0804010897 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Swallow Press; 1 edition (June 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804010897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804010894
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 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: #2,647,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Davis' Belonging (2002) is one of the most rereadable books of poems of recent years, and his new collection is another. Again, his prosodic manners are immaculate; this guy knows how to write formal verse, without a dropped, stretched, or off-beat foot anywhere in sight. Again, he writes in many different modes: lyrical, dramatic (and historical), epigrammatic, satiric, elegiac. If he sounds sad now and then, he is never mournful, let alone depressed. His poem in memoriam to Edgar Bowers consists of bright bits of anecdote that vividly characterize the older poet. If a sudden tear in the fabric of his personal time, such as seeing a long-dead friend's eyes in the face of the driver of an oncoming car, frightens him, he recovers on a note of near tribute. More often here than in Belonging, he is funny in the manner of a genuine humorist (see "A Visit to Grandmother's," in particular) and light in the manner of the best light-verse writers--not least in wearing his considerable learning lightly. There are poems here that draw on classical myth and literature and on eminent Victorians (see "Turgeniev and Friends") as well as a brilliant monologue in the voice of an unusual informant of thirteenth-century Crusade chronicler Jean de Joinville; nowhere does pedantry overpower, or even threaten, character and incident. Marvelous reading. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

BOOKLIST May 2006 *STARRED REVIEW* Davis' Belonging (2002) is one of the most rereadable books of poems of recent years, and his new collection is another. Again, his prosodic manners are immaculate; this guy knows how to write formal verse, without a dropped, stretched, or off-beat foot anywhere in sight. Again, he writes in many different modes: lyrical, dramatic (and historical), epigrammatic, satiric, elegiac. If he sounds sad now and then, he is never mournful, let alone depressed. His poem in memoriam to Edgar Bowers consists of bright bits of anecdote that vividly characterize the older poet. If a sudden tear in the fabric of his personal time, such as seeing a long-dead friend's eyes in the face of the driver of an oncoming car, frightens him, he recovers on a note of near tribute. More often here than in Belonging, he is funny in the manner of a genuine humorist (see "A Visit to Grandmother's," in particular) and light in the manner of the best light-verse writers--not least in wearing his considerable learning lightly. There are poems here that draw on classical myth and literature and on eminent Victorians (see "Turgeniev and Friends") as well as a brilliant monologue in the voice of an unusual informant of thirteenth-century Crusade chronicler Jean de Joinville; nowhere does pedantry overpower, or even threaten, character and incident. Marvelous reading. Ray Olson Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Dick Davis brings a unique array of gifts to the challenges of translating Hafez and his contemporaries. In his own right, he is a poet of great technical accomplishment and emotional depth. He is also the foremost English-speaking scholar of medieval Persian poetry now working in the West. Numerous honors testify to his talents. In the U.K., he received the Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann Award for his second book of poems, Seeing the World, in 1981; his Selected Poems was chosen by both the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph as a Book of the Year in 1989; and his collection Belonging was selected as the Poetry Book of the Year by The Economist in 2003. In the U.S., A Kind of Love--the American edition of his Selected Poems--received the Ingram Merrill prize for "excellence in poetry" in 1993. He has received awards for his scholarship from the Arts Council of Great Britain, The British Institute of Persian Studies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and he is the recipient of grants for his translations from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Twice, in 2000 and 2001, he received the Translation Award of the International Society for Iranian Studies, and in 2001 he received an Encyclopedia Iranica award for "services to Persian poetry." His translation of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh: the Persian Book of Kings was chosen as one of the "ten best books of 2006" by the Washington Post.

Davis read English at Cambridge, lived in Iran for eight years (he met and married his Iranian wife Afkham Darbandi there), then completed a PhD in Medieval Persian Literature at the University of Manchester. He has resided for extended periods in both Greece and Italy (his translations include works from Italian), and has taught at both the University of California and at Ohio State University, where he was for nine years Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages, retiring from that position in 2012. In all, he has published more than twenty books.

Among the qualities that distinguish his poetry and scholarship are exacting technical expertise and wide cultural sympathy--an ability to enter into distant cultural milieus both intellectually and emotionally. In choosing his volume of poems Belonging as a "Book of the Year" for 2006, The Economist praised it as "a profound and beautiful collection" that gave evidence of "a commitment to an ideal of civilized life shared by many cultures." the Times Literary Supplement has called him "our finest translator of Persian poetry."

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Okla Elliott on May 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Davis has long been known as a master of form and a first-rate translator--both reputations fully deserved--but this new book brings him even farther along his well-trodden path. The sharp wit and high sarcasm (as opposed to cheap cynicism) are the main reasons to buy this book, but the cultural erudition and formal wizardy are not far behind.

The poem "Shopping"--in which a salesman offers up today's means of making a mess of one's life--is worth the price of the book alone. It's laugh-out-loud funny, and it indicts (without preaching) both the poet and the reader equally.

Buy this book.
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