Dancing, with Mirrors

By George Amabile

© 2011

Dancing, with Mirrors is George Amabile's `lyrical retrospective', a thoughtful fragmentation and re-arrangement of his personal history. These eleven `cantos' tumble into and over each other in a rush of passion, memory, devastation, and quiet moments that promise renewal; here, Amabile's talent for sounding the complex depths of everyday life shines like a beacon.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Porcupine's Quill
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.6in x 0.7in x 8.7in
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SKU# DT061189

  • PUBLISHED SEP 2011
    From: $19.95
    ISBN 9780889843431

Quick Overview

More than twenty years in the making, Dancing, With Mirrors is the result of George Amabile's patient examination of his life. The light of careful attention, shining into his past, sends fragments of memory ricocheting into sensuous poems that arrange themselves, as if by magnetic attraction, into eleven remarkable cantos, each with a different focus, rhythm and texture. In this `lyrical retrospective', decades are distilled into scattered moments: flashes of pain, sparks of affection, the smart of disappointment, small graces of the everyday.

Organized thematically into a roughly chronological narrative, these lyrical fragments make up George Amabile's most intelligent and moving collection to date. Intense snapshots of life-defining moments, from his brother's death to his relationship with a younger woman, are rendered with vivid immediacy, but also with a resonating aura that elicits questions which may never be answered by experience alone. These poems offer hard-won wisdom alongside a fierce commitment to life itself, capturing one man's journey in exquisite imagery, an impressive variety of forms and a voice that is recognizably authentic in all its registers.

Since 1972 George Amabile has written seven collections of poetry and has been published in over one hundred magazines around the globe, including The New Yorker, Harper's, and Saturday Night. Over the years George Amabile has come to be recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished and masterful poets.

Dancing, with Mirrors

By George Amabile

© 2011

Dancing, with Mirrors is George Amabile's `lyrical retrospective', a thoughtful fragmentation and re-arrangement of his personal history. These eleven `cantos' tumble into and over each other in a rush of passion, memory, devastation, and quiet moments that promise renewal; here, Amabile's talent for sounding the complex depths of everyday life shines like a beacon.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Porcupine's Quill
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.6in x 0.7in x 8.7in

`A remarkable writer, Amabile provides us with a key to a larger understanding of the male ethos, something few male writers have attempted to do with such openness and honesty.'


Patrick Lane

`What muscular lyricism! Amabile is a fearless singer who finds the right note for every human emotion. With elegance and passion, he pushes against the silence of complacency. He's both of the world and other-worldly, a vatic poet with a sharp intelligence, simply one of the country's best.'


Lorna Crozie

George Amabile has published his poetry, fiction and non-fiction in the USA, Canada, Europe, England, Wales, South America, Australia and New Zealand in over a hundred anthologies, magazines, journals and periodicals including The New Yorker, The New Yorker Book of Poems, Harper's, Poetry (Chicago), American Poetry Review, Botteghe Oscure, The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, Saturday Night,

Transit in Absentia

. . . . . .

6.
A fuzzy half-moon hangs from the bruised night.
It looks as though it has become infected
with some as yet uncatalogued fungus, tenacious
as angelhair. It has lost its place
in the old stories -- Astarte, Nanna,
His-wang-mu, or the Mexican Trickster

Conejo -- and must be content
with its role as pock-marked veteran
of obscure plagues and wars,
the unearthly darkness packed like grease
around a bearing
that won't hold up much longer.

7.
And all the while they were imagining
soft landings, the night sky,
the moon a pearl among diamonds,
the empty sleeves
of the sea.
Later, they abandoned each other
to ambivalent shade, breathing
shallow afternoons and closing the books
they had leafed through as a hedge against boredom.
It was enough to dream with half closed eyes,
to speak in fragments, in a vernacular
conditioned by boutiques and cafes.

Pods ripen and fall.
They gather their towels and cups,
their headbands, their unread mail,
and that is all they have time for
under cliffs with their fossil records
lying carelessly open,
a rough Braille in the decaying light.

8.
The big boat shudders and hums.
Light sparkles under a thin haze.
As the stern
veers
and steadies,
blue hills drift away. The gulls
adjust. The air-vent grills
quiver and blur, and the waves,
slate grey like the backs
of the gulls, change
textures: chipped
stone like a primitive ax-head,
hammered lead,
burred steel and a cross-hatch
of loosely woven linen...
The breeze dies. The sea is a mirror
filled with nothing but time.

. . . . . .