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Threshold Songs

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  129 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
About Threshold Songs: The voices in these poems perform at the interior thresholds encountered each day, where we negotiate the unfathomable proximities of knowing and not knowing, the gulf of seeing and feeling, the uncanny relation of grief to joy, and the borderless nature of selfhood and tradition. Both conceptual and haunted, these poems explore the asymmetry of the ...more
Hardcover, 85 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Wesleyan
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Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everyone told me how good this was and yet I still feel I was ill prepared. Stunning.
John Allen
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Peter Gizzi is one of the most talented poets of our generation as he proves with this sparse, phenomenal collection, "Threshold Songs".

Gizzi's style is dizzying in the same way that a painting beginning to drool is dizzying--his phantom like dissection table of poems, really in no one fixed form, is like reading a chat between a man and Kant's "The Thing In Itself". Example, and my personal favorite:


What do you see when you see a dress sounding in deep indigo, a head ma
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
quite pleased, although I only grabbed a copy on a random whim. I have a copy of my vocabulary did this to me but haven't ever really read gizzi's work other than "gray sails" in perloff's "poetry on the brink." "gray sails" is certainly a highlight, alongside "a note on the text," "apocrypha," "tradition & the indivisible talent," and "true discourse on power."

I like the voice and aesthetic that gizzi cultivates throughout the book, am very fond of it, though I find it missing a certain en
Gordon Hilgers
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Drawing from past traditions of minimalism and Language Poetry, Gizzi takes the unfamiliar to open readers to new ways of looking at the world. In that nonfailing light, Gizzi takes us to the threshold, the edge, the opening into a world only he can provide us. The difference between Gizzi and his poetry is a line he deliberately obscures, and the crispness of his imagery fuses with natural qualities so completely that we see the work of genius in process. Process, as well, is an important word ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, poetry
Abstract, beautifully lyrical reflections on the wonderment in the everyday and on the borders we cross over: life to death, the understood to the unknown. Gizzi poses questions with answers that can often only be siphoned through experience. He asks readers to step back and observe the world surrounding them, capturing specific moments too easily overlooked. These *are* songs-songs of amazement and of appreciation, songs of despair and discontent seasoned with humor that surprised me and made m ...more
Dec 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
from Threshold Songs by Peter Gizzi

A Note on the Text

The good poets defy things
with their heart

This is how a fragment
enters the people

Don't say beauty say the beautiful
say the people

Say it is through chants that writing
entered the people

Their imagery and love of nature,
englutted flowers

This place of fleshlessness
Here is my song

the only recourse of sun
Even its smallest syllables

can be sown into the mouth
It is on the tongue the sun abides

Two syllables fastened
to each end

To stretch the vocal patter
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

Hey shadow world when a thing comes back
comes back unseen but felt and no longer itself
what then
what silver world mirrors tarnished lenses
what fortune what fate
and the forms not themselves but only itself the sky
by water and wind shaken
I am born in silvered dark

Hypostasis & New Year
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes these poems leave me suspended or baffled, not always able to follow the leaps leapt or to find grounding in the spaces opened between words, lines, and thoughts, but I enjoy Peter Gizzi's poems very much nonetheless. I admire this mind working, puzzling, figuring out, or simply being certain in its uncertainty. And the closing poem, "Modern Adventures at Sea," knocks me out.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
buy this book. Obsessed with negative space in a brilliant way
Ade Olakiitan
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I suppose there is a thing as growing with the writer that steeps you in his style. I probably missed it as this the first Peter Gizzi book I read upon recommendation. While I don't look out for astounding magic on every page, nothing stuck; and that is what I look out for in poetry: something that jumps, stays, for kinships and the words that I never could say. Maybe try out his other books?
Again, possibly, I just wasn't prepared.
Dec 28, 2016 added it

... what is the role of art if any /
within your particular emotion machine
Greg Giannakis
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nothing compares to Basement Song, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. His voice is quite different than what I expected.
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Educated at New York University, Brown University, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, poet Peter Gizzi is the author of several collections of poetry, including Threshold Songs (2011), The Outernationale (2007), and Artificial Heart (1998).

Gizzi uses both narrative and lyrical gestures to engage and question distance and light in his search for the unmapped. Reflecting on the questio
More about Peter Gizzi