Core Samples from the World

Forrest Gander. New Directions, $15.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1887-0
Gander is an experimental poet in the most literal sense of the word, in that each of his books attempts things that haven't been tried before, either by him or others. In this eighth collection, four sequences of poems respond to pictures by three photographers—Raymond Meeks, Graciela Iturbide, and Lucas Foglia—making of the images metaphors for people and places that are easy to see but difficult to penetrate. The poems don't describe the pictures so much as work in chorus with them; in a poem on whose facing page is a Meeks photo of a shirtless, dust-covered boy carrying a basket, Gander writes: "I cannot be discarded, his eyes say," which is as much a response to the picture as it is a challenge to the visitor to take the unfamiliar place on its own terms. Concluding each section is a piece of jumpy prose, a kind of lyric essay, narrating one of four journeys—to Xinjiang, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina. and Chile—all of which serve to illustrate that "Behind everything/ the foreigner sees, something he doesn't/ know how to look for." In these pieces, Gander gets as close as one can to the sensations of being an outsider straining toward empathy: "I wanted to borrow eyes/ from another language," he writes. "I was looking for the words to come." (May)
Reviewed on: 05/16/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.