- € 10,99
A major new collection from one of our best loved, most celebrated, and most original poets Deeply personal but also expansive in its imaginative scope, Nouns & Verbs brings together thirty-five years of writing from Campbell McGrath, one of America’s most highly lauded poets. Offering a hint of where he’s headed while charting the territory already explored, McGrath gives us startlingly inventive new poems while surveying his previous work—lyric poems, prose poems, and a searing episodic personal epic, “An Odyssey of Appetite,” exploring America’s limitless material and spiritual hungers.
Nothing is too large or small to remain untouched by McGrath’s voracious intellect and deep empathy—everything from Japanese eggplant to a can of Schaefer beer to the smokestacks of Chicago comes in for a close and perceptive look even as McGrath crosses borders and boundaries, investigating the enduring human experiences of love and loss.
A book that stands on its own solid foundation, Nouns & Verbs captures the voice and vision of a truly singular poet.
With an open heart, a skeptical eye, and feet planted firmly in American soil (which holds "infant ferns," "bulldozed stockyards," and "pink cigarette lighters"), McGrath lets the world from locusts in Manitoba ("an ancient horde of implacable charioteers") to decapitated icons in Rosarito Beach, Mexico wash over him. Leading off with a book-length set of new poems, McGrath has culled from eight of his previous 10 collections in the four sections that follow. In a mix of long-line lyric poems, short poems and prose poems, McGrath inspects all that goes by. He locks eyes with a toad (whose eyes "are gold, brilliant and metallic,// like moon-lander foil hammered over robotic orbs") but can't do the same with a sea turtle, who is "like the barnacled hull of an overturned rowboat" with "sinewy stumps where the flippers should be" (they have been cut off for soup). Other poems include "Reading Emily Dickinson at Jiffy Lube" ("Praise images that leap from the mind like ninjas!") and the book's closer, "Campbell McGrath," a three-page piece built around a journey through towns named Campbell and McGrath ("All maps are useless now./ These final steps must be taken alone"). McGrath is intelligent company, his poems exhibiting a curious, sometimes furious mind tuning into the "literal noise of our culture," both violent and beautiful.