- PUBLISHED: October 2003
- SUBJECT LISTING: Literature / Poetry
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 80 Pages, 6 x 9 in
- SERIES: Pacific Northwest Poetry Series
- ISBN: 9780295983523
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
David Biespiel’s long poetic lines crackle with rhythmic energy and a jazzy, bittersweet richness of language. Rolling out across the page like darkly luminous highways, his innovative, nine-line "American sonnets" promise adventure, offering a variant on the sonnet form that is both lyric and dramatic and bringing his masterful formal inventiveness to free verse. "I’ve come to imagine the nine-line sonnet to be like one of those classic Thunderbirds," says Biespiel, "something distinctly American: wide, roomy, and with a robust engine."
The vastly varied voices within the poems are united by a wonderfully limber diction. Using with revelatory precision the vocabularies of history, science, art, sport, philosophy, religion, literature, government, and domestic life, Biespiel has crafted a hip, melodic, elastic language that travels the registers of expression: lush and coarse, gaudy and austere, pliant and rigidly tough. The civility of the poems is the form; the wildness is the bristling energy of the language.
Passionate, resilient, rich with wit and word play, these poems affirm David Biespiel’s increasing stature as a poet of remarkable accomplishment and promise.
Authors & Contributors
David Biespiel teaches English at Oregon State University and is Writer in Residence at The Attic in Portland, Oregon. His honors include a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. He is the author of Shattering Air.
Under a Blossoming Plum Tree
Explication de Texte
After the Wedding
Civilization in the Next War
About the Poet
[Wild Civility] demonstrates the poet's deft control of line and sentence..Poems such as 'Under a Blossoming Plum Tree' or 'Shoulders' are sparse, free verse lyrics concerned with exterior landscape and quiet observation—smart counterpoints to Biespiel's reinvented sonnets. They allow the reader a moment to breathe, reflect, and appreciate the dynamic personality of Wild Cilivity.- Rain Taxi Review of Books
Like microprocessors, the poems in Wild Civility deliver an almost incalculable amount of information instantaneously. As a result, they demonstrate the pure and powerful recombinant energy of language that is the essence of lyric poetry.- Michael Collier, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
Wild in its imaginative thrust, civil in its formal command, this glowing new sequence represents David Biespiel's best poetry to date.- Stanley Plumly