Seven Notebooks
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Seven Notebooks

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An ant to the stars
or stars to the ant—which is
more irrelevant?

Weekend Jet Skiers—
rude to call them idiots,
yes, but facts are facts.

Clamor of seabirds
as the sun falls—I look up
and ten years have passed."
—from "Dawn Notebook"

Such is the expansive terrain of Seven Notebooks: the world as it is seen, known, imagined, and dreamed; our lives as they are felt, thought, desired,...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published February 5th 2008)
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This season by season sequence of poems in a variety of forms is part memoir, part homage to other poets, and overall in its loose narrative of a poet's vision unrolling over time utterly engaging and provocative in its language.
May 05, 2008 Marcelle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Another week should see the bloom-out
of purest, whisper-green shoots, darkening
all summer to fall...
Rachel Ann Brickner
Reading McGrath’s Seven Notebooks has been another reminder to me that you can write about anything and it can be interesting, evocative, beautiful, sad, or funny. He accomplishes this by looking deeply at his subject and showing us what he finds there or is at least trying to find there and what that means to him and why.

One of my favorite poems in the notebooks is a haiku. It is one of the simplest poems in the notebooks, yet I believe the most profound. It’s from the “Dawn Notebook” and it’s...more
Robert Beveridge
Campbell McGrath, Seven Notebooks (Ecco, 2008)

“If I were Virgil this would be an eclogue.”, Campbell McGrath tells us toward the end of Seven Notebooks. In many ways, that's exactly what this is. Wikipedia defines “Eclogue” as “a poem in a classical style on a pastoral subject”. Almost one hundred fifty years after Whitman, it could be argued that his sort of thick, loose-limbed free verse has become something of a classical style, and there's no denying that McGrath's ponderings of nature, and...more
Not too sure what to say about this collection in a lot of ways, so I will go about this one a little differently...


- I agree with the messages presented throughout. That is most likely a shallow reason for liking, but we are who we are...
- I think a book of poetry this long and connected is an ambitious undertaking.
- some of the descriptive sections are beautiful. They don't seem to steal from what has come before, but are a true describing in an instant - that instant the poet's alone.
- I...more
McGrath's latest effort seems less like a book of peoms in a traditional sense and more like a lyric contemplation, fusing poetry and prose in interesting ways. In some ways, this fusion makes the book feel uneven, and in other ways, it opens up the idea of collected works to a broaded sense of meditation. One of the best compliments I can pay the book is that it often inspired me to write. Often called "Whitmanesque," McGrath's subjects range from the effects of capitalism, to quiet mediations...more
I'm not one with much tolerance for rhapsodic articulations of the fine gradiations of color in the dawn sky, and even less for Whitman-esque free verse paens to everday mundanities, but by the seventh notebook I had been completely won over by McGrath's incisive depictions--sometimes in verse, sometimes in journal-like prose passages--of the introspective, nature-infused world he inhabits.

"So the arc of creativity is an ungrounded rainbow,
and cause for hope. Why distrust the universe?
We are en
University of Chicago Magazine
Campbell McGrath, AB'84

From our pages (The Core, Winter/14):
I like (some of) the journal-ish prose-ish poems best, the clear and solid images of them. Elsewhere, I feel like there's often this over-the-top-ness to McGrath's phrasing, something show-off-ish, a pulling back from the beautiful or "poetic" image: but I like the beauty more. Toward the end of the book, "Eclogue," which juxtaposes Hiroshige and Miami, is great, and so is "Hiroshige," a few pages later. (Read both here.)
McGrath has recovered from the horrible "important-ness" of Pax Atomica and delivered some of his best and unassuming poetry to date. These poems, collected into seven notebooks that offer a rough chronology, flit between the serious and the mundane, the formed and the unformed, the journal entry and the "poem." This collection is a tremendous achievement for McGrath. The book itself is quite beautiful too, measuring 7 inches by 5 with a stunning jacket.
Vicky S
I really enjoyed the tone of this collection and the idea of the notebooks. I feel like this is what a lot of writers have going for them at the end of the day. It's always great to see McGrath using so many different techniques and formats.
Lee Crase
Listened to him read at the final Poetry at Tech event of the season, and liked him well enough to buy a book.
William Zhao
A nice collection of bits and pieces, threaded together loosely. Reading them is like a stroll down unknown beach.

I love, love, love Campbell McGrath's poetry. I really can't be effusive enough about it. Just go read it.
long-form poetry is forever changed
Highly recommend this
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ampbell McGrath (born 1962) is a modern American poet. He is the author of nine full-length collections of poetry, including his most recent, Seven Notebooks (Ecco Press, 2008), Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Ecco Press, 2009), and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (Ecco Press, forthcoming, 2012).

1 Life
2 Music
3 Awards
4 Works
5 Bibliography
6 References
7 External li...more
More about Campbell McGrath...
Spring Comes To Chicago American Noise Pax Atomica: Poems Florida Poems Road Atlas: Prose and Other Poems

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