Gods of Winter

Dana Gioia, Author Graywolf Press $15 (64p) ISBN 978-1-55597-148-9
The gods of Gioia's ( Daily Horoscope ) second collection of poetry are like snow. Their glory is ephemeral. At first appearance, they dazzle--aloof, pure, silent. But like their human counterparts, they succumb to time and weather. Through catastrophe or a gradual melting away, change buries all things human and divine, and memory resurrects them only briefly. On these themes Gioia writes a few superb poems. ``Counting the Children'' concerns an accountant who, charged with settling an estate, discovers in the deceased's house a roomful of dismembered dolls. Later, watching his daughter sleep, he muses grimly: ``Each spirit, be it infant, bird or flower, / Comes to the world perfected and complete, / And only time proves its unraveling.'' It seems ironic that Gioia mars his collection with several self-promotional poems. ``My Confessional Sestina'' targets ``youngsters in poetry workshops'' who write sestinas as ``the official entry blank into the little magazines.'' Yet he merely asserts his own priority by mimicking the form and the practitioners he purports to disavow. pk (May)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-1-55597-147-2
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