Peter Gizzi, Author . Wesleyan Univ. $28 (112p) ISBN 978-0-8195-6663-8 ISBN 978-0-8195-6664-5

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. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/21/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-8195-6664-5
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