Dec 26, 2009

Review of Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! Poems

Coming via the Comment box at Escape Into Life. Joseph Allgren says:

"Funny, yes. Poetry, no."

Thanks, Joe!

Dec 23, 2009

From Jennifer L. Knox, regarding Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

"Poets love to dress up their work in all sorts of outfits—professorial corduroy jackets with leather patches at the elbows, diaphanous Renaissance gowns, white lab coats and rubber gloves, clown drag—but this is what so, so many poems look like naked. Peter Davis deftly and unswervingly reveals a truer motive for metaphor."

Dec 13, 2009

Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!: The Epigraphs

For Christ’s sake, our young lad thinks, am I going to have to spend my days behind these glass walls instead of going for walks in flowery meadows? Am I going to catch myself hoping the night before each promotion exercise? Am I going to calculate, connive, champ my bit, me, who used to dream of poetry, of night trains, of warm sandy beaches?

--Georges Perec, Things: A Story of the Sixties

Money is a kind of poetry.

--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Dec 12, 2009

What Is Coming and the Blurbs that will Appear with It

Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Passing Professor Davis’s office door yesterday— Professor Davis’s closed office door—I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David—before he became the giant that is Peter Davis."

--Mairead Byrne

Poets have long labored under the illusion of a readership when, in fact, the notion of audience is often the last thing on poetry's mind. It's in this sense of contradiction -- the need to be loved & the need to be left alone -- that much poetry finds its spirit. Peter Davis further complicates this picture by creating a book addressing a totally fictive audience thereby foregrounding this ambiguous condition. Uncomfortably self-conscious and maddeningly self-referential, Davis has constructed a complex book-length work of institutional critique that both refutes and upholds that presumed sacred bond between author and audience. Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! is a perfect work for an age where thinkership has triumphed readership.

-- Kenneth Goldsmith

Perhaps readers might expect this blurb for this collection of delightful, self-referential meta-poems to be self-referential itself. If you think that while you read the back of this book, you’re wrong. We made it to the third sentence already without expressing any ambivalence about it: in Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!, Peter Davis breaks new ground by naming the ground itself in an Adamic fashion only he can do. I was pretty proud of myself with that term, Adamic fashion.

--Daniel Nester