Today's poem is "This is a City of Bridges"
from Speculative Music

Sarabande Books

Jeff Dolven grew up in Massachusetts and studied at Yale and Oxford. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Speculative Music is his first collection. He teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance, at Princeton University, and is an editor at large at Cabinet magazine. Sunset usually finds him in Brooklyn.

Books by Jeff Dolven:

Other poems on the web by Jeff Dolven:
"How Do You Do?"
Two poems

About Speculative Music:

"If these poems are hands, and these hands move within us—their readers, their puppets—they are sleight of hands, conjuring a deep cavern beyond their spare proscenia. As though through a distorting glass, Speculative Music’s slant untruths only focus more acutely the poems’ profound yearnings. Goethe would recognize a cousin!"
—Susan Wheeler

"It's the kind of book where you want to call up a friend who also loves poetry and say, this one's my favorite, no, this other one, listen to this, listen to his other one, what's he going to do next? and look how he does it, listen how he does it. Utterly original, within the poem leaping from one change of meaning to another of some word or homonym the poem obsesses on, as if the book was written by some kind of poet mountain-goat. He can tell you about the inner life of a refrigerator or that the hummingbird hums because it doesn't know the words, and that on the telephone it's neither hear nor there, and hello, hello, am I still here? And he does it by means of an extremely adept prosody, sometimes strictly metrical, sometime all made up, always alive. Sometimes (rather cheerfully) despairing, sometime coolly objective, always sympathetic to who he is and who we are, and amused by all of us. It's a delight. More than a delight. But it's a delight."
—David Ferry

"In Speculative Music, Jeff Dolven takes up the great and rare project of 'inventio': these poems are imaginative discoveries, beautiful contraptions, engines of delight and pathos. A music-hall sprightliness barely cloaks 'the querying steel' flashing throughout. The command and dash here at times might remind you of Auden, but Dolven is his own (split) man. This is work at times 'shyly rehearsing a subtler number,' other times clicking its zany heels. Here is the world, askew. Here is a poet who can indeed 'string a string . . . through everything.’"
—Ilya Kaminsky

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home  Archives  

Copyright © 2002-2013 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved