The Ginkgo Light

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It is at a pole apart from confessional poetry, with the author's voice kept detached from the subjects being discussed, which makes the reader think more in terms of editorial choices which went into the poetic collage.


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I think someone who go Sze's style is to crowd image upon image, the showy and the modest, natural phenomena and human drama, packing them in so tightly that the reader is almost dazzled by the abrupt shifts. I think someone who goes in with an expectation of a single message carried by a particular poem will be disappointed, whereas one who takes the time to feel each finely detailed element and consider how it fits or conflicts with its neighbors might have a better appreciation of what the poet intends. Sep 09, Dan Gorman rated it liked it.

Arthur Sze's poems describe people, animals, and plants in varying states of motion and decay. The poems hinge on sudden pivots and contrasts: jumping from animals to humans, from a human activity to natural phenomena. The juxtapositions of the natural and manmade worlds are often ingenious. It's clear that Sze has impermanence on his mind, as well as drawing out connections between the Chinese, Japanese, Native American, and Western United States landscapes which he seems to know so well. Yet t Arthur Sze's poems describe people, animals, and plants in varying states of motion and decay.

Yet the abstract nature of most of these poems makes their ultimate meaning illusive. I can see that the poems are about impermanence and life cycles, yet I cannot discern what the poems are telling me about impermanence and life cycles. Oct 14, Edward Rathke added it. Read this today and I find myself oddly indifferent, which is something poetry has never really made me feel before. Some great images, some great lines, but it didn't move me.

I sort of don't know what to say about it, so I've decided not to rate it, because any rating would be sort of meaningless.

The Ginkgo Light

The poems are focused on normal events, the mundane, and packed with images, but I guess it just never came together in my head. Maybe it will for you. It's worth checking out. Feb 09, Mike Good rated it it was amazing. What I admire most in Sze's poetry is how each individual moment in each poem seems to collage in the piece as a whole without need for transition.

Sze works great in short and long form poetry, while adding voice to topics rarely discussed, including but not limited to life on a America's reservations and life after the atomic bomb. Sze gives his readers a clear and intelligent voice to hold. Jan 13, Siel Ju rated it it was ok.

Described crudely, poems about mortality and survival and cycles of life, with most metaphors drawn from nature -- animals and plants and fish, most presumably native to Santa Fe, where Arthur's lives, retired. Some poems composed of elliptical lines are interesting -- others not so much "Meandering across a field with wild asparagus Apr 18, David rated it really liked it.

Sze writes an interesting combination of Southwest Native American, Chinese and other world cultures all mixed together. Some poems are easier than others. He is worth the trouble.

Night of the Ginkgo

Mar 25, Mary McCray rated it liked it. Good mix of East meets West. Jun 14, Jeanne rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. Beautiful imagery and poignant metaphor throughout Sze's poetry.

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Astute observations of nature and how human life mimics the aesthetic order of things. Jul 21, Sandra rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry.

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One who sees the immensity in the daily; the gentleness of being in a stormy universe. Barbara Lightner rated it really liked it Nov 11, All rights reserved.

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    Cerise Press › Circumscribing Here: The Ginkgo Light by Arthur Sze

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