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Fierce Elegy (Hardback)

P&S History > Humanities > Poetry

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Pages: 72
ISBN: 9780819500670
Published: 2nd February 2024
Casemate UK Academic


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Peter Gizzi's powerful new collection reminds us that the elegy is lament but also - as it has been for centuries - a work of love

In Peter Gizzi's powerful new collection, we find, in the poet's words, that "the elegy is a mode that can transform a broken heart in a fierce world into a fierce heart in a broken world." For Gizzi, ferocity can be reimagined as vulnerability, bravery and discovery, a braiding of emotional and otherworldly depth, "a holding open." In Gizzi's voice joy and sorrow make a complex ecosystem. One of our foremost practitioners of the lyric, Gizzi here extends his mastery of the form. In their quest for a lyric reality, these poems remind us that elegy is lament but also - as it has been for centuries - a mode of love poetry as well. "This new poetry," Kamau Brathwaite has written about Gizzi, "taking such care of temperature - the time & details of the world - meaning the space(s) in which we live - defining love in this way. Writing along the edge. A way of writing about hope."

[sample poem]

Creely Song

all that is lovely

in words, even

if gone to pieces

all that is lovely

gone, all of it

for love and


as if I were

writing this

hello, listen

the plan is

the body and

all of it for love

now in pieces

all that is lovely

echoes still

in life & death

still memory

gardens open

onto windows

lovely, the charm

that mirrors

all that was, all

that is, lovely

in a song

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