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The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Phoenix Poets) Paperback – March 20, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] masterful book, at once poised and relentless.”
, Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Weiner is a poet justifiably lauded, as his poetry performs sensitive and skilful feats of language while refusing to flinch from tragedy in any political or emotional climate. Book-ended by two long poems, and centered around a number of shorter lyrics, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish shows a range of forms, modes, and concerns. These poems make profundity exciting.”
-- Stephan Delbos, BODY

“Nothing in Joshua Weiner’s new book stays still—everything moves, everything changes. In short lyrics and long and supple investigations both meditative and ethically intense, Weiner has articulated something unique, complex, and important about how the individual experiences history, politics, and landscape. Whitman and Williams’s Paterson are forefathers to the kinds of pleasures of scope and specificity one finds in reading, for example, Weiner’s long poem “Rock Creek (II).” One also finds oneself there. Weiner shows how each of us in our aloneness bumps up against our culture and our past, recognizing and losing and recognizing ourselves again in what we know, what we don’t know, and what we don’t want to know.”
-- Daisy Fried

The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish recalls the stature and imagination of Hart Crane’s The Bridge and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson. These elegant, erudite meditations wander ‘from Frontierland to Tomorrowland to Liberty Square’ unearthing the bedrock of our American landscape. As the first and last poems suggest, Joshua Weiner works with the focus of a one-eyed man ‘cutting a way through stone / to see what’s there.’ No other poet of his generation is writing this masterfully and mindfully. What an intense, scrutinizing talent, what a fabulous, incomparable new book.”
-- Terrance Hayes

“Bookended by two exquisite long poems—pocket epics in the manner of Tranströmer’s Baltics or Oppen’s Of Being Numerous—Joshua Weiner’s new collection is a rare accomplishment. Weiner offers a consummately searching admixture that reminds us that history and politics cannot pretend to rationality or linearity; they cannot even be stratified. Weiner has a near-prophetic ability to instruct and warn us, whether he is writing in the gentle voice of Whitman or of the grim consequences of the contemporary war on terror. The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish is a book of moral seriousness and unflinching ambition.” 
-- David Wojahn

About the Author

Joshua Weiner is professor of English at the University of Maryland. He is the author of The World’s Room and From the Book of Giants and the editor of At the Barriers, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Product details

  • Paperback : 80 pages
  • Item Weight : 3.95 ounces
  • ISBN-10 : 022601701X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0226017013
  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press (March 20, 2013)
  • Product Dimensions : 0.4 x 5.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 5 ratings