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Visits from the Seventh Paperback – June 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (June 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375709789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375709784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 9.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 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: #2,202,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arvio's debut collection charts a series of visitations by a gaggle of spectral spirits, whose chattering presence our "extra-sensed" speaker invokes "often, in lieu of human contact." Arvio's sprites eschew the larger metaphysical and historical concerns of James Merrill's Ephraim et al. for the wryly personal and domestic: love, memory, desire, "your plight, your purpose, your oh/ so necessary struggles and strivings." They verbalize through the pen the speaker carries with her at all times to channel her "seventh sense" ("the sixth is sex, silly"), which allows her to tell a story of love, loss and the flickers that remain: "a vast web of eventualities/ traced negative of the verso of life:/ verging, converging and parting again,// or radiating from a single verb,/ never ever to return or meet," as one voice puts it. While this metaphor for a loss so great the speaker retreats into her own mind and projects her internal voices outward is a powerful one, Arvio's spirits sound like rattling aristocrats; their speech sprinkled with "darling" and "love" and such exclamations as "we covet water though which light will ride/ and you, my dear." Such portentous oratory often gives way to elaborate word games in which the ever-more-demanding and indistinguishable ghostly voices spin out puns and associative jokes, which finally can't hold the poems together. Still, readers may be content to stroll along for the view while the speaker tries to maintain "a light happiness, a levity,/ empty and sweet and pleased to be alive,/ a walk a day along Park Avenue." (Feb. 20)Forecast: A "Knopf Q&A" between Arvio and Knopf editor Deborah Garrison, contained in the publicity packet, begins with the fact that Arvio is in her (late) 40s, significant for a first-book author. Look for short magazine profiles that use late blooming, along with Arvio's day job as a United Nations translator, as hooks.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is a first book of poems from Arvio, an ingeniously skillful poet from New York (where she works as a translator for the United Nations) with a flair for the supernatural. The poet is pleasantly bombarded by a gaggle of entities that flutter about her, chattering in supportive or challenging but always profound dialog. "We want reverence and irreverence in a combination that pleases us: knowing when to adore, when to subvert," says one "visitor." There are hints that these entities may be ghosts, spirits passing between incarnations that go so far as to lead the poet to occasional bouts of automatic writing. "For a year I had tried to shake them off but then found I had only left myself, `high and dry' dry, without a source." This is dangerous ground: writers who venture into the realm of the occult risk banality. However, Arvio's prodigious talent saves her; the poems in this book well deserve the awards they've won (the Bernard F. Connors and the Frederick Bock prizes). Recommended. Judy Clarence, California State Univ., Hayward Lib.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Katey on December 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I can't get enough of Arvio's poetry. She has such an extact grip on her craft, often employing simple language to convey the most powerful messages. She is what poetry is all about. This book is a refreshing glimpse of what it means to be a female poet, and what it means to read compelling poetry. Highly, highly recommended.
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