Other than the aphorisms, there were many great poems here. I m attracted to contemporary poetry with a classical feel to it and for that reason am attracted to James Richardson s work He doesn t stray far from the classical His subjects are Shakespeare, the Greek gods observed in bars, Zeus giving a press conference, the Georgic style given a modern twist His brilliance is best shown in a long section of aphorisms and what he calls Ten Second Essays where his wit and intelligence pop in the mind to fill it with fireworks Sometimes his poems dart about like dragonflies but they carry ideas with the density of iridium Standing here with Richardson you can see how the modern world connects with the ancient, like that fabled snake eating its own tail. Faces Are Motion, Which Is Why All The Photos Of You Are Bad Even The Most Natural Looking Portrait Is A Sentence Interrupted, One Note Of An Aria, Held Though Faces Themselves Hide A Deeper Motion You Seem To Sit There And Meet My Eyes Across The Table, But You Are So Many Other Places, Clinging Here For A Moment Against All The Currents That Will Soon Sweep You Onward We Are So Moved By The Faces Caught In The Windows Of Trains Going The Other Way Because They Tell Us How All Faces Really AreJames Richardson Is The Author Of Six Books Of Poetry And Two Critical Studies His Poems Appear Frequently In The New Yorker, Slate, And Paris Review He Is A Professor Of English And Creative Writing At Princeton University Truthfully, I didn t love this What can I say I realize it was a finalist for the National Book Award and that his Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award a few years back I even liked some of the poems very much in the book, but an equal number of the poems orseemed gimicky and smart not in good way , were of marginal interest and accomplishment, and altogether held no common denominator or structure as far as I could tell, which is what a book of poems I want to read should do National Book Award Finalist Really With that said, I only read the thing through once This year, I made a promise to read everything twice through and see if I just wasn t in an anti Richardson mood that day I ll let you know Loved this collection of poems and aphorisms by Richardson Terrific meldings of language and science and the everyday, this is a collection I can pick up and enjoy often My favorite part was Section II Vectors 3.0 Even More Aphorisms and Ten Second Essays which is a collection of 170 observations for lack of a better word. that little bird, pretty calm there in the snow, is cold, but itmust be a discontinuous and lightly registered sensation cold, peck peck, what s that oh yeah, cold whereas i would bedesperate in a few minutes thinking about freezing forever and ever somewhere in evolution we traded endurance for foresight intelligence was the first of all the ability to worry This volume was a finalist for the National Book Award this past year I don t always care for poems based on mythology, but enjoyed these, particularly Echo Later on I giggled over Songs for Senility, definitely my favorite poetry Purchased this collection for the collection of 170 aphorisms it contains I was going through an aphorism phase Like the poems, which I would describe as aphoristic, the entire collection is filled with humor, but never reaches the point of trying to make jokes What often feels about to veer into territory that is hokey cuts off and redirects the readers attention to small, sad moments in the midst of a brightly colored world I particularly enjoyed the longer poem Are We Alone that collects and comments on snippets of popular science articles to great affect The early cluster of poems based primarily around classical allusion were fresh and unusual Recommended. I was less struck by the poems here than the aphorisms Some of them were thought provoking Nothing important comes with instructions How proud we are of our multitasking What is Life but something to get off our desks, cross off our lists and There are two kinds of people in the worldand who is not both of them
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the By the Numbers book, this is one of the most wanted James Richardson author readers around the world.
- 111 pages
- By the Numbers
- James Richardson
- 27 October 2019 James Richardson