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Wishbone Paperback – April 27, 2012

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Don Share's work is compressed as a haiku, intent as a tanka, witty as a sonnet, witless as a song, relentless as an expose, patter without pretension . . . his elegant poetry, exposed as a haiku, expansive as a renga, boisterous as a bridge, happy as Delmore Schwartz with Lou Reed and vice versa, vivacious as the living day . . . built out of attention, music and sight. --David Shapiro

Share is one of the more gifted craftsmen we have writing in America today. --Erin Belieu, Boston Review

Few poets manage such dexterous and fresh music. --Alice Fulton

About the Author

Don Share is senior editor of Poetry magazine in Chicago. His books include Squandermania (Salt Publishing, 2007), Union (Zoo Press, 2002), and Seneca in English (Penguin Classics, 1998). His critical edition of Basil Bunting's poems is forthcoming from Faber and Faber, as well as Bunting's Persia from Flood Editions. His translations of Miguel Hernandez, collected in I Have Lots of Heart (Bloodaxe Books, 1997), were awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize, the Premio Valle Inclan, and the P.E.N./New England "Discovery" Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Press; First edition (April 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574232193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574232196
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Don Share is the editor of POETRY magazine. His books include Squandermania (Salt Publishing), Union (Eyewear Publishing), Seneca in English (Penguin Classics), and most recently a new book of poems, Wishbone (Black Sparrow), a critical edition of Basil Bunting's poems (Faber and Faber), and Bunting's Persia (Flood Editions). His translations of Miguel Hernández, collected in I Have Lots of Heart (Bloodaxe Books) were awarded the TLS Translation Prize, Premio Valle Inclán, and PEN/New England Discovery Award; they were recently published in a new and expanded edition in the NYRB Poets series. With Christian Wiman, he co-edited The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press).

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So much recent poetry is tame, falling into familiar categories: the careful political, the domestic pastoral, the pleasing somewhat funny meditation. Don Share has never been a poet whose poems try so hard to please us that they lose their bite. Those who have read Union & Squandermania will find his nuanced craft continuing to evolve in his new collection Wishbone. These poems implicate us. That is, they call on the reader to face the inevitable rough disappointments without neglecting those moments that provide tarnished grace, moments that are no less sustaining and transforming for the ambivalence they contain, their human scale. When taking on home life, work life, death of parents, the life of the self, these poems do not give us the calm passionless poems of middle age. They confront us with conflict, and by doing so perhaps help us take a few steps toward finding our way through difficult times with integrity. As one brief example here are a few lines from the poem "Stonecrop":

Like stonecrop
with no stone,

the dying inherit
the dead, cut

what they can't
untie. They chew

but never swallow:
God alone is full...
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It's not easy to be both funny and philosophical, in fact it's nearly impossible but Wishbone manages both. Some more overt, others come at you from oblique angles like Bowling on the Day of Atonement.

We demand so much from poetry but what is essential is that we can see ourselves within the poet's authentic voice. The Man Who Walks Like Me is the older woman whose shoes I slip into and perhaps not willingly but with eyes open. Yet there is not one voice or style but many - lyrical, haikuesque, even elegiac as in the gorgeous Stonecrop. God alone is full./It saw what is fragile/break. This is a fine entry point to get to know Don Share's work.
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Format: Paperback
Thank goodness for Don Share! These poems; raucous, tender, surprising and fierce reminded me of a question Czeslaw Milosz asked in one of his many poems about language--"How to tear apart the skin of words?"--I love the way Share takes up that challenge and writes about losing a parent and parenting, of "heritable daddyweight" and being a "glaciologist of gloom"--pushing the language in so many different directions that I'm startled and delighted on every page. One of my favorite poems in this new collection is PAUL BLACKURN'S TREE. The speaker asks "But where is the real bird,/the one in front of us?" ...It's here, I wanted to say to Share--in this book.
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