By the Numbers

By the Numbers

Book - 2010
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"For James Richardson, poetry is speculative and serious play. By the Numbers captivates with its range of line and movement, its microlyrics, crypto-quatrains, and "ten-second essays," its aphorisms that twist and snap. Drawing from myriad lore--Ovidian and Shakespearean, georgic and scientific--Richardson makes familiar scenes strange enough to provoke startling insights."--P. [4] of cover
"Richardson is one of the finest poets now writing, and the best contemporary practitioner of the art of aphorism, as this eighth collection of poems and aphorisms will attest. Richardson's aphorisms--of which there are 170 in this book--are nothing short of genius, concise, reflexive, witty, wise, and startlingly true: "Spontaneity takes a few rehearsals," reads one; "Beware of speaking of The Rich as if they were someone else," reads another; "Loving yourself is about as likely as tickling yourself," says a third, and there's much more where these came from. In his poems, Richardson speaks with a world-weary voice that is also at times cautiously optimistic, managing to view the world from intimately personal and omniscient vantage points at the same time. One group of poems tries to take the measure of experience via numbers, letters, and "The stars in order of/ magnitude." Another suite anchored in Greek myths finds new resonance for old stories: "Did a god steal her daughter/ or has she been living all this time in Manhattan...?" Throughout, Richardson's aphoristic powers resurface, yielding stellar lines. Richardson deserves wider recognition, and this book should earn it."--From Publishers Weekly.
Publisher: Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon Press, c2010.
ISBN: 9781556593208
Branch Call Number: 811.54/RICHARDSON
Characteristics: xi, 111 p. ; 23 cm.


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