cover image Little Glass Planet

Little Glass Planet

Dobby Gibson. Graywolf, $16 (80p) ISBN 978-1-55597-842-6

In his fourth book, Gibson (It Becomes You) offers an ode to poetry and the respite it provides from a restless, cacophonous world. A gentle protest of the politics that scorn love and empathy, this book invites the reader to log off from the ceaseless relay of information in order to reconnect with the natural world, as well as simple, beautiful objects, such as an antique Korean fishing bobber. Gibson is charmingly funny, as when he presents a mock etymological elegy for the actor Abe Vigoda: “That name, like something resurrected/ from a dictionary. Abe: another word/ for honesty. And vigoda, meaning:/ a sacred temple for vampires.” The poem “Roll Call” considers activities that “the gods” may be engaging in at any given time, including “updating their secret map of lost mittens” and “chasing one another at the god park.” The book contains many pithy observations (“it’s impossible to get/ the same haircut twice”) which occasionally seem cute or unnecessary. However, it contains many more remarkable, arresting images: “a lemon tree dressed in December ice like a girl in her grandmother’s jewelry.” The poem that opens the book’s third section, “Inside the Compulsion to Wonder Lies the Will to Survive,” effectively epitomizes the poet’s worldview. Gibson offers the reader a quiet space to reflect on the metaphysical and to find peace in a time of chaos. [em](May) [/em]