Titel: The Invisible World
Verlag: Louisiana State University Press
Auflage: 1st Edition
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WINNER OF THE 2001 WALT WHITMAN AWARD FROM THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS
With a formal power and clear-eyed purpose, John Canaday's The Invisible World seems to spring fully-formed into the ranks of contemporary poetry. Part travelogue, part cultural study, part spiritual autobiography, it charts its course on a richly internalized journey to the Islamic Middle East. In the course of that journey, its restless, God-haunted narrator takes on, with a fluency steeped in the mythos of the Western literary tradition, such a broad range of cultural and metaphysical issues that the reader must stop to remember that this is a first book of poems. With The Invisible World Mr. Canaday makes a remarkably accomplished debut. --Sherod Santos, from his judge's citation
In these unique, beautifully made poems we see how immersion in another culture can alter our cool American regard. Now as never before we should be thirsty for the news they have to bring us. --Mark Jarman
John Canaday's The Invisible World holds nothing less than a world of surprises. These poems are comic, quizzical, mordant, and heartbreaking by turns. And always--beneath the trope of modesty--ambitious and assured. Among many other delights, there's the title poem, and then there's "The House of God," which adroitly take on Wordsworth and Emerson just for starters, then move on from there with linguistic aplomb into something deeper, something more: stones, deserts, the silence of God, the terrifying, consoling, vast invisible world. --Paul Mariani
In his remarkably accomplished first book, The Invisible World, John Canaday has mastered many forms, such as the classical blank verse line, which he uses without ever violating his commitment to colloquial diction. And his long poem, "Impostors," written in Dantean terza rima, is truly a tour de force, a poem of great intricacy and wit, full of verbal surprises and inventiveness. This is a book of mature accomplishment that will engage anyone who delights in richness of detail and in what Wallace Stevens called "the gaiety of language". --Robert Pack
An incredibly timely book, full of intelligence, insight, and striking language. --Linda PastanFrom the Inside Flap:
With "the clarity / of a landscape made of single / grains of sand," the poems in John Canaday's The Invisible World invite readers on a journey through an exotic land, as the narrator travels for more than a year in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan before returning home to New England. Swept along by poetry alive to paradox, we encounter a world in which the Bible and the Qur'an, Eastern and Western traditions, ancient and modern artifacts, mystical and scientific attitudes, meet on equal footing, where a tape recorder perched on a minaret broadcasts the prerecorded cry of a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer.
In these poems, the exotic includes not only a world of Bedouin and camels, djinn and ghouls, but also the internal territory of the narrator himself, who alternately feels "like an ambassador of sorts, / albeit penned in tourist class" and a "post-imperial naïf / in metaphorical Bermuda shorts." Canaday offers here a complex meditation on the inner and outer nature of journeys and confronts the powerful recognition that the sense of the foreign arises through an inevitable encounter with the self.
In the midst of this richly textured palimpsest of an alien land, the spirits of the Western poetic tradition--Dante, Blake, Whitman, Dickinson, Bishop--also hover. Confident in both lyric and narrative modes, including blank verse, free verse, sonnet, terza rima, and ghazal, Canaday's poems create a stunning landscape of words, an invisible world of discovery, memory, and sensation: "Lost in this Persian Gulf / of the mind, this poem, my heart's Baghdad. / The land's alive in me. I can't let go."
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