Kevin Killian's Reviews > Cinema Vernacular

Cinema Vernacular by Peter Nickowitz
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it was amazing

If I could recommend one book to my Goodreads friends, it would be Peter Nickowitz and his poetry collection Cinema Vernacular. While in the past I have given five stars to books as varied as Ntozake Shange and Blake (William Blake, not Blake Lively), here is a modern day book that will stand up to comparison to some of the classics.

It is a poetry deeply rooted in the language of cinema, of the moving image, and some of you readers will recognize the language of the screenplay that Syd Field made famous, when you open a page at random in Peter Nickowitz' dazzling collection. Whether or not you are a poetry fan per se, nearly all of us have succumbed to the poetry of a film, or to the poetry of the human body, and it is Nickowitz' genius to combine a strongly sensual love poetry with the narrative conventions of classic film. He refuses to eschew experiment, keeping the material fresh and vivid throughout, but instead manages to keep our attention by allowing us to see our own lives, our choices, our loves, filtered through his expert use of language and desire, to shape the field of perception.

The title emphasizes the "vernacular" in this poetry, but it is not particularly slangy; maybe the best way to describe Nickowitz' use of the vernacular is that the democratic urge is strong in this writing; it is a book to appeal to anyone who has ever felt the tug of words at their heart. If you've ever responded to a movie, from The Way We Were to Wong Kar Wai, or if you've ever blushed at the gaze of another, I can recommend Cinema Vernacular to you about all.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 17, 2015 – Finished Reading
October 5, 2015 – Shelved

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