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Sight Map (New California Poetry #26)

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In Sight Map Brian Teare blends the speculative poetics of the San Francisco Renaissance with a postconfessional candor to embody the "open field" tradition of such poets as Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. Teare provides us with poems that insist on the simultaneous physical embodiment of tactile pleasure—that which is found in the textures of thought and language—as well ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published March 2nd 2009 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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May 03, 2009 Paula rated it really liked it
Recommended to Paula by: Todd Melicker
Shelves: poetry
These are poems of place and sexual desire, of location and dislocation. They are also a conversation that the poet has with himself regarding the nature and use of prayer. That said, it is Teare’s language, more than his ideas, that shines through this collection. And the logic of the language here is one of choice rather than chance. Teare’s poetic skills are finely honed and he wields them with great precision. He has no truck with sloppiness. Perhaps sex as he describes it here can be messy ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Ronald rated it it was amazing
Brian Teare's strikingly seductive second book, Sight Map, contains a voice so courageous and forceful it terrifies.
Within minutes his phrases began striding under my skin with the chewing cadences of a voracious beetle.
If the voice of the speaker in Sight Map oscillates-- from blatant Emersonian yearning for solace in nature to self-inquiry fueled by comforting flashes of familial surroundings-- it also performs a Foucault-esque excavation of queer desire: "under laws, the order of things/ so
Dec 31, 2009 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
Brian, one of the smartest men I know, needles the thread, stitching sex to text like a Tolkein elf.
May 12, 2010 Kent rated it it was amazing
I am most pleased with the way Teare sets the language in these poems on the tense edge of composure, while constantly pushing the poems deeper and deeper into the lyric and the poem's sentiment. Maybe that sounds like a typical thing to say about a book of poems, especially as I'm not exactly sure what narrative or concept I would say the poems are describing. It's sexual, yes. And there is assuredly an object of desire, and an intimacy that means the speaker has something at stake. And perhaps ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Ie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2013, lambda
Dense, erotic, lyrical. Currently obsessed with his internal rhymes, his juxtapositions, his carry-overs, his formalistic choices. Not necessarily revolutionary, but very purposive.

Also, language serves more as site, rather than road. Interested to see if his later collections evolve from this pervasive state of being once or twice removed from experience, a detachment from retrospection. Not that it's a bad thing. Though extremely curious about what can happen when he gets down and dirty, wres
Dec 13, 2009 Libby rated it it was amazing
A formally dazzling, thematically intricate book, quietly sumptuous in its lyricism. Following a lushly depicted geographical trajectory from East to West, questions of faith and of how language "sees" abound. Lots of great poems here - some of my faves include "Emerson Susquehanna," "Morphology," and "Sanctuary, Its Root Sanctus." A good, informative review can be found here:
Aug 13, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This is stunning. A kind of new transcendentalism where the natural world is not merely a backdrop but is embedded in the life, mind, body, ardor of the poet; place is alive and rapturous and completely inseperable from eros, from the lyric.
Mar 13, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who loves to read poems that are philosophically difficult and erotic.
The poems in this book are both conceptually difficult and erotic. I love this book. I have read it several times and keep returning to it.
Mar 08, 2009 Elizabeth added it
Shelves: poetry
What a lovely book -- a lyric, playful, serious engagement with the physical world and with enlightenment ideas.
Fan Wu
Feb 12, 2014 Fan Wu rated it really liked it
Highlights: "As If from Letters of Surveyor Samuel Maclay" & "To Take the House Out of Doors" for the smart use of at least three types of line break; "Morphology" for its incisive reuse of guides to ferns; "Abandoned Palinode for the Twenty Suitors of June" & "An Essay to End Pleasure" for their renewals of Hopkins via his sliding into gay male discourse; and especially "Genius Loci" for one of the best readaloud midsections to a poem I've seen in a while.
Katie  Kurtz
Apr 28, 2012 Katie Kurtz marked it as to-read
Just picked this up from the library - Brian is easily one of the best poetry instructors I've ever had the opportunity to work with - looking forward to spending time with his work.
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A former National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Brian Teare is the recipient of poetry fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the American Antiquarian Society, the Fund for Poetry, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. He is the author of The Room Where I Was Born, Sight Map, the Lambda-award winning Pleasure, and Companion Grasses, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award. His fifth book, The Em ...more
More about Brian Teare...

Other Books in the Series

New California Poetry (1 - 10 of 33 books)
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  • Selected Poems
  • Sleeping With the Dictionary
  • Commons
  • The Guns and Flags Project
  • Gone
  • Why/Why Not
  • A Carnage in the Lovetrees
  • The Seventy Prepositions

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