Poetry. "'Do our voyages, ' Auden once asked, 'still promise the Juster Life?' Too many of us would answer this question in negative--not so Philip Metres. His poems seek above all to traverse borders, not merely those between nations and cultures but also--and most importantly--between the personal and the political. With a sure command of craft, which he displays in abunPoetry. "'Do our voyages, ' Auden once asked, 'still promise the Juster Life?' Too many of us would answer this question in negative--not so Philip Metres. His poems seek above all to traverse borders, not merely those between nations and cultures but also--and most importantly--between the personal and the political. With a sure command of craft, which he displays in abundance, Metres plays for high stakes. TO SEE THE EARTH is a debut of unusual distinction"--David Wojahn...
|Title||:||To See the Earth|
|Number of Pages||:||90 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
To See the Earth Reviews
Shameless self-promotion leads me to recommend this book of poems to you!
Highlights: Primer for Non-Native Speakers; Matryoshka, Memory; Echolocation Islands; Installation/Occupation; The Ash Tree; Nicodemus Below the Cross: A Votive Ivory; one more story he said In a restaurant in Amsterdam; Bat Suite
Though I've only finished the first part of the collection, I'm greatly enjoying it because it prompts both laughter and sadness while simultaneously bridging the two in orienting the reader's perspective into space. "To See the Earth" fills me with an intensely visual sense of understanding how one person connects to another as I look toward Earth from space. Few things can be known for sure, but the fact that we, as humans, influence the lives of one another is unarguably certain. So far, "To See the Earth" sets a course to ask how one person's individual experiences relate to the collective experiences of humans around the world. One great example of this, and definitely my favorite poem* from the first section, is "Yuri Gagarin's Spaceship". Soviet hero and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's journeys took him outside of the Earth's atmosphere, literally to a position away from Earth where he might look in on it. Without giving away any details and the pleasures of reading his poetry, Metres finds this problematic. I expect this theme to recur in parts II and III which I eagerly look forward to reading.*I say this with caution because I greatly enjoyed "Matryoshka, Memory" but I require the internet and another reading before settling on this issue.Now that I have finished, I'm ready to pronounce my adoration. Without revealing too much about the second and third parts, Metres moves more deeply into establishing the relationship of the individual to the collective with ease, familiarity, and sharpness. Both the individual and the collective experiences become even more personal. Definitely a must-read for poets and peacemakers alike.
Metres is a great poet, but I couldn't quite get into this entire collection. Isolated poems are brilliant, but I think the collection as a whole may just be too personal for anyone who isn't Philip Metres to truly connect with it. Which is ok. It just makes the book a little less user-friendly, and thus it gets docked a star.
See "Echolocation Islands," "The Ballad of Skandar" ("above a little town, / a Muslim diverted the living stream, / the story passed down") "Bat Suite." ("the last man for the job / whacked it like a ball / that happened to have wings. / It takes off--pulsing--beating--the air / sliding feinting darting / like sudden weather."
Most interesting was the interaction between parts one and two of the book. I thought the speaker's experience in the Soviet Union, dealing with language worked very well with the sense of misplaced ethnic identity in the second part.