Synopses & Reviews
Focusing on linguistic anomalies, this collection of contemporary poetry explores language as a vehicle to express disjunctive perceptions of American culture. The carefully grounded language of these poems focuses on what is rarely seen: the familiar that is palpable, yet obscure in death, love, and the material world, jarring the reader into seeing through the glass to deeper and darker things.
"The wonderful poems in Glass-Bottom Boat are the poems of a man married to the domestic joys of being a son and father; the joys of jazz, marriage, and sweet married sex; the joys of responsibility so lovingly embraced that the love subsumes obligation." Andrew Hudgins
"Asarnow's poems are by turns tender, jocular, formally elegant, and wryly ironic. They sizzle like sparks from the spirit meant to remind us OF the spirit. There is a human and mature intelligence everywhere in these pages." Nance Van Winckel
"In 'Argument (Empirical) Favoring the Existence of a Soul,' this wise, musical voice tells us that life is 'a multiplicity of wonderings.' Glass-Bottom Boat is, itself, a trove of wonderful wonderings. A gift to us all." Paulann Petersen
"Maybe these poems are glass: furiously made, blurred, coming clear. Through them, we begin to see what Herman Asarnow sees flashes of childhood and married love, nature and art, how what is mortal in us locks and unlocks. There's a genuine quest in this work, musical and layered-rich." Marianne Boruch
"Sharply observational, witty, and affable, Asarnow invites us into the room of a dying parent, allows us to witness a son's first true defiance of authority, the tenderness of a long marriage, and a host of other ordinary-seeming experiences made numinous by the poet's quiet insistence on the linkage between imagination and mortality. It is this knowledge that gives the book its profundity and weight." Chase Twitchell
About the Author
Herman Asarnow is a professor of English at the University of Portland and the author of Writing, Second Edition. His academic honors include the John C. Underwood Prize for Poetry, The Graves Award, and the Burlington Northern Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He lives in Portland, Oregon.