You can feel these stirring, whirlwinding poems, each echoing each, bits and pieces refracting here, disappearing there, only to resurface, thrillingly unexpectedly, spinning you around again . . . Very few poets can write poems like Amorosi’s, in which “mercy and truth are met together and kiss.”
What do we look for in poetry? For my part, I know that I want emotional authenticity, integrity with respect to truth, and a backlog of experience that brings wealth and weight to the language. Ray Amorosi has given us a book that satisfies these desires amply, again and again, surprising us with its fierce rightness, its dark humor, its fundamental humanity.
I am glad to hear and read these poems from a poet who has fulfilled his early promise (it doesn’t matter how belatedly: it would have taken this long anyway), a poet still mad for poetry, still in love with poetry, but now also in love with the world.”
[This book is] . . . a phoenix of a book, rising out of the ashes of long silence as though there were no tomorrow. And there isn’t; the poems say this again and again: there is today, refreshed, troublingly and laughably bemused, tricksterish, reverent, irreverent, glowing and infused with the world’s ironic loveliness.
About the Author
Born in Boston’s North End in 1946, Ray Amorosi earned graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Massachusetts. His most recent books are Gnawing on a Thin Man (Willow Springs Editions, 2012) and In Praise (Lost Horse Press, 2009). His previous two volumes, both from Lynx House Press, are A Generous Wall and Flim Flam. He has taught writing and literature at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Northeastern University, and Adams State University. His poems has appeared in the pages of The American Poetry Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry, Field, Crazyhorse, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Kayak, The Journal, Antioch Review, The Iowa Review, Seneca Review and Willow Springs. He lives and writes in ecstatic retirement in Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts.
IN HIS OWN ACRE
Teach me your madness.
Is it in the Silver Bell not pink enough,
the dandelion press too sweet.
No tent moth on the trees mouthing perfect
holes, dripping slime. No
mite or borer.
Me. I’m not so good
as what I do, grow, or appear to a tap
root that can’t be dug or poisoned out.
Teach me the worm’s method, becoming two.
No festering. No
gawking out the window.
Let the weed I bend over for
be yanked up without spite.
Copyright © 2013 by Ray Amorosi