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Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan Poetry Series) Paperback – October 8, 2003
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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