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Soft Sift: Poems
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Soft Sift: Poems

2.96 of 5 stars 2.96  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews
There are curved stories here, intrigues and quests whose exuberance of plot and sense of farcical immersion in the world of appearances is rendered with a light touch and a sure command of tone, staging the conflict between the mind's drift and the "inflexible etiquette" of form (Gerard Manley Hopkins's "soft sift / In an hourglass"). The making of these condensed dramas ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2001)
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Octavio Solis
At first, infernally impenetrable and opaque. But each poem taught me more of this writer's poetic vernacular. Now, I feel like I understand him because he innately understands me. His poems in this book are fictive forays into character in much the same way that Browning's sonnets were. They relay a particular personal voice in its struggle to make sense of itself. I started the book today and am more than halfway through it.

I know many people did not enjoy this book. I somehow managed to feel
Oct 21, 2009 Liam rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I felt this a pretentious collection aiming to use obscure words and non-English phrases to impress the reader instead of inviting her into these usually senseless ramblings. I have read dozens of volumes over the past few years and this was the worst one. I hope that rereading a year or so changes my mind. I bought it because: 1) the author was 'multi-national (hence the languages; 2) a slim volume and easily read in a day or sitting; 3) a remainder costing $4.98.
I can't recall the last time I liked a book by a breathing poet who I didn't personally know as much as I liked this one. British guy, born in Kenya, lived all over. Probably best known here for editing both the Selected Frank O'Hara and the Library of America John Ashbery. He has a couple of poems in the "New European Poets" anthology, which is pretty easy to find.
really 2.5 stars. read this in one strong gulp, but wasn't particularly arrested by much of it. some lines here and there gave my pause, but nothing totally stopped me in my tracks. i found myself meandering through these poems mainly wondering what i was missing.
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