- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Fragile Acts (McSweeney's Poetry)by Allan Peterson
Synopses & Reviews
"In his fourth volume, Peterson combines lessons learned from the poetry of John Ashbery with wisdom from his own long career as a practitioner and professor of the visual arts to create poems that work a bit like what might result if Shakespeare's sonnets mated with paintings by the abstract expressionists. Peterson's poems shift briskly between thoughts and images, but hold onto the emotions that bind these poems together. Often, Peterson is elegiac in tone, but as alert to the new lives engendered by what's lost as he is saddened by the loss itself, 'how much diminishment it takes/ before we notice the most meaningful instances:/ water shuddering in one place,/ asleep in another.' Humor and profundity bubble out of the same source: 'Like baby corns in Cashew Chicken the ideas of the soul are plentiful/ and poorly developed.' Poems stop themselves suddenly before swerving, yielding unexpected truths through observation: 'A fish with an osprey in its back emerges from the Sound/ and nothing can be learned by more analysis.' While Peterson isn't creating a wholly new poetry, he also isn't simply reiterating an old one: his work demands, and deserves, attention. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The world is terrifying and exhilarating. Believing firmly in the romantic notion that “embellishment is love,” Allan Peterson in Fragile Acts combines the intellectual force of T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens, the ethereal wonder of Robert Hass, and the tight lyric beauty of Elizabeth Bishop and Donald Hall. These steely, wide-ranging poems are at once personal and philosophical, incisive and meditative—funny, serious, compassionate and searching.
Juxtaposing the fast pace of contemporary society with the quiet localism and naturalism of the great American transcendentalists, Peterson's sinewy, muscular collection reveals a profoundly intelligent, curious mind leaping from object to thought to emotion. And yet, poem after poem, Peterson somehow binds seemingly unrelated elements into one stunning whole. Youll nod your head in reflection one moment and laugh out loud the next. These moving poems are a profound delight to read.
Peterson writes with wondering beauty: “As a child I knew I was sleeping when I began / falling though still furled in my sheets / and I would look over other peoples shoulders / to see what they were reading / the headlines the footnotes / Extra! Extra! / a boy has left his room through a map on the wall.”
And again later, with a sly smile: “When she twirled and slapped / a mosquito and missed, a red sun stayed on her leg throughout / most of the chapter on Self Reliance.”
About the Author
Allan Peterson has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and his work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 10 times. His poems have appeared in The Nation, Boston Review, Agni, the Believer, and The Paris Review, as well as several anthologies. Petersons 2002 collection, Anonymous Or, won the Defined Providence Press Competition, and his follow-up volume, All the Lavish in Common (2005), won the prestigious Juniper Prize from the University of Massachusetts. He divides his time between Florida and Oregon.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:
Other books you might like