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Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan Poetry Series) Paperback – October 8, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gizzi (Artificial Heart) divides this long-awaited third collection into five parts. The first, "Forensics," proposes "A History of the Lyric" that is adamantly unwilling to dissect the patient, "empurpled, its silhouette/ ragged, silver// unquantifiable in pixie dust." As an editor, Gizzi's most recent project was The House that Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer; the "Wilderness" section that follows in this book adds on to Spicer's house with "Not a still life into which artifice may enter/ but a labor to describe the valves and cordage" of verbal structures, concluding that "every thing is poetry here." The final three sections, "Nerves," "Industry," and "Song" are best when a distinctly romantic, even utopian note breaks through, hinging a liberated eros on the weary knowledge of one's era-"Is there a score for the treatise/ you compose in rain// for the voice as it comes/ out of blankness/ liberty?"-while entertaining "An Allegory of Doubt" and "Fin Amor" alike. Gizzi's Oblek magazine was extremely influential in the late '80s and early '90s, and he has been an important teacher of young poets at Brown and (currently) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This book shows him in top form, engaging the resilience and adaptability of the title's classic lyric tropes, and working toward values for poetry and life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Gizzi is a master of the mot juste and of sound structure."—Marjorie Perloff, The Boston Book Review


"Peter Gizzi writes challenging poems with substantial intellectual and emotional rewards. Taking his bearings primarily from the New York School, the San Francisco Renaissance and the Black Mountain poets, he shares with his predecessors a lyric sensibility enriched by experimental tendencies. . . . Tonally assured even as they demonstrate self-doubt, many of these poems present a recognizable world skewed by the poet's perceptions. . . . In the end, Gizzi himself is a s much a reader of the world as he is a writer."—Brian Henry, Times Literary Supplement


"His poems manage to be inventive without being impudent, gorgeous without being gaudy, and so they are free of occupational hazards of contemporary lyric poetry: presumptuous egotism, grating allusiveness, treacly insouciance."—John Palattella, Los Angeles Times Book Review


“Peter Gizzi is on the quixotic mission of recovering the lyric… [He] is taking the current doubt-ridden, cross-referential ways of reading and writing to heart while holding on to the old dream of making sense.”—Andrew McCord, New York Review of Books Reader’s Catalog
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Product Details

  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; First Paperback Printing edition (October 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819566640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819566645
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 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: #2,042,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Gizzi helps the tradition to its feet and picks the gravel out of its knees.
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Format: Paperback
Peter Gizzi, Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003)

I had the good fortune to see Peter Gizzi read at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia back in 1992 (and share a bleary late-night breakfast with him and a few others afterwards). That was many moons ago, of course, and my memory not being what it once was, the only impression I still have of that night is being very impressed with both of the night's featured readers, the other being Liz Willis. I'd picked up a chapbook of Willis' that night, so I've been able to keep my impressions vaguely fresh; not so with Gizzi. For some reason, it took me twelve years to pick up one of his books. I wish I'd done so sooner.

Some Values of Landscape and Weather is a good, solid book of poetry in the tradition of good, solid American poetry of the latter half of the century that doesn't really correspond to a particular school; Yussef Komunyakaa would be a good parallel example. But between the good books and the very good books there is something indefinable. A way of seeing, perhaps, or a better ability than most to translate vision to the page. All the best American poets (and most likely all the rest) have it, in some fashion or another, be they as widely hailed as Hayden Carruth or as relatively unknown as Chris Stroffolino. Peter Gizzi has it. In spades. There is not a poem in this "long-awaited" (Booklist) collection that strays from whatever path it is they're on, rarely more than a word or two out of place. The descriptions and their underlying layers of meaning are as perfectly striated as the jaw muscles on a Mako. Simply, Gizzi can not only make you see, he can make you believe.

A fantastic piece of work. **** ½
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Format: Paperback
Peter Gizzi's book Some Values of Landscape and Weather is not only a well crafted work but it is a work that is, in the best traditions of Pound and Olson international and American at the same time. The verse is well crafted and a delight to the reader who is a serious poet or a lay person but it is the fusion of European and Asian influences that make this work worth every moment. If you are looking for this generation's next great poet look no further than Peter Gizzi.
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