Description

Wild Civility

David Biespiel

  • Published: 2003
  • Subject Listing: Poetry
  • Bibliographic information: 80 pp., 6” x 9”
  • Territorial rights: world
  • Series: Pacific Northwest Poetry Series
  • Contents

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.

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.

"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
Contents
Preface

Pagan
Hallucination
Under a Blossoming Plum Tree
French Kiss
Poets
Dear Justice
Explication de Texte
Faith
Gentrification
After the Wedding
Drunks
Shoulders
Brawls
Sangria
Xerxes
Prayer
Starlings
Exile
Godhood
Ferdinand Magellan
Parties
Spiritual Guy
Brusque
Ars Poetica
Kazoo
Civilization in the Next War
Home
Amichai 1924-2000
Hermes

Acknowledgments
About the Poet
Reviews

"[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