Joe's Reviews > A Fiddle Pulled from the Throat of a Sparrow

A Fiddle Pulled from the Throat of a Sparrow by Noah Eli Gordon
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Feb 08, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: poetry
Read in February, 2009

Noah Eli Gordon is one of these guys everyone tells me I'm supposed to read. This didn't seem like the proper introduction. I'm usually a-okay with poets who work purely by managing associations between sound and image at the expense of narrative. & in a lot of ways, Gordon seems like an immediately accessible poet because the sonic side of things offers so much ear pleasure. Via conventional diction, the tonal range of the piece is limited, handicapping the associational magic they can do. "Untragic Hero of Epic Theatre," on the other hand, seems to compose tones in more interesting ways while bucking sense line by line without forgetting to cohere to some overarching sense--

My machinery has a terrible horse
There are twisted fibers
ruts dug in the road made for mules
bricks rearranged to create a "sense of place"
& this cloud resembling a Roman column
It's enough to be on stage with a rifle
with dimmed lights relaxing the audience
Brushstrokes of smoke drift in sepia
& a man in uniform waves past
the idea of war to grace a wilderness
...

That's good enough to get me to try another one of his books.
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