Nearsights: Selected Poems

Valerio Magrelli, Author, Deborah I. Bean, Author Graywolf Press $16.95 (87p) ISBN 978-1-55597-133-5
Magrelli's gift is specific and small, focusing on ``a moment when the body / collects itself in a breath / and all thought is suspended.'' In that instant of perception, the award-winning Italian poet takes in whatever is before him: a ``dead calm,'' ``ashen rain / over yellowed courtyards,'' a ``table filled with fruit.'' Brief, bare, unassuming, often composed as a single brief stanza, Magrelli's verse--translated with appropriate restraint by Molino--is haunted by a sense of his own absence (``I am what is missing / from the world I inhabit, / . . . I am my own eclipse''), and honed by a wish for self-purification by way of things and words. A romantic and a minimalist, he is appealingly modest in vision and yet limited in means; the poems in this bilingual edition, culled from several books originally published in Italy, do not build so much as repeat in form and theme. Selfless sentience is Magrelli's ideal state. It is sometimes numinous, other times not. This is his first publication in English. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 87 pages - 978-1-55597-134-2
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