Peter Gizzi’s “masterful” new book (and its James Schuyler epigraph)

Image result for peter gizzi new york school

Over at the New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich reviews the “masterful” new book by Peter Gizzi, Archeophonics, which was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award. Petrusich notes that this is “perhaps Gizzi’s most personal book; it is tender, lyric, strange, and chatty.”

Gizzi has long been one of the best contemporary exponents and perpetuators of New York School poetics (as can been seen in his Ode: Salute to the New York School, as well as across his body of work as a whole).  So it’s not surprising to learn from Petrusich that “the collection features an epigraph from the poet James Schuyler: ‘Poetry, like music, is not just song.'”

The line comes from Schuyler’s wonderful villanelle entitled “Poem“:

I do not always understand what you say.
Once, when you said, across, you meant along.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

Words’ meanings count, aside from what they weigh:
poetry, like music, is not just song.
I do not always understand what you say.

You would hate, when with me, to meet by day
What at night you met and did not think wrong.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

I sense a heaviness in your light play,
a wish to stand out, admired, from the throng.
I do not always understand what you say.

I am as shy as you. Try as we may,
only by practice will our talks prolong.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

We talk together in a common way.
Art, like death, is brief: life and friendship long.
I do not always understand what you say.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

Petrusich also notes that the book, a meditation on loss, is filled with “allusions to outdated objects and systems, and the ways in which we gather, mourn, and give them new value: the old document, the old language, the archive, the archival. The old apple and the used bookstore. ‘The days go and are gone.'”

And what could be more James Schuyler-esque than a line like “The days go and are gone”?  You can check out the rest of Petrusich’s review here.

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This entry was posted in Book Review, James Schuyler, Peter Gizzi, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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