Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Sing You, Jimmy Sky


"We Sing You, Jimmy Sky" by Deirdre Dore.

Okay, I got Deirdre's book only a couple of days ago, but what I'm about to say should not be considered provisional.

Buy this book.

Read it.

Read it again.

Read it yet again.


Then give me a call so we can talk about it.


First of all, the voice is plain spoken and the world is this world. Maybe not your world or my world, but her world: now it belongs to all of us. I initially thought of a shaker chair against a white-washed wall in a slant of light on a clean wood floor to describe her writing and her mastery of it, but it is less fussy and scolding.

You have to go back in time farther and go east.

Think of a simple Japanese home with handhewn beams and finely jointed construction throughout, never a nail. Stripped of frills. Full of wabi-sabi.

What Dore does here in this book of poems is to state her case plainly, but with great care and something more stern than honesty. Structurally, she is borrowing from James Schuyler's Hymn to Life, and by extention, Eliot's Wasteland. And there is plenty of both of them visible in the bones and in one or two images, which astound and ring like bells.

But fundamentally Dore works with her own two hands in the hard marrow of her own life. I'm reminded of Dugan and Gilbert and of Hemingway and of Pollock of all people and of all of them she stands her ground more simply and with a sterner presence. Like Hemingway, she knows her stuff and we as readers are the beneficiaries of the depth of her knowledge of the world she inhabits. The details of a thing can't be faked, and we are in good hands with her.


But I can't do service to this work. It is grander and more fine than I can tell.

What matters perhaps is that this work rewards you for the reading of it. Her images rise and rise again in my consciousness, like fish hooks in the skin tugging at me, dragging me gasping to the too-bright surface of the river.

I am a poet and a reader of all great things and I don't know that I have encountered her equal.

She has got me undone, utterly.

Read her if you want to know how to make great art from the world at hand.
Read her if you mistrust religion and politics and the heart of man.
Read her if you are nursing a great wound.
Read her if you are going to have a baby.
Read her if you must bury one you love.
Read her if you still have hope or if you have forsworn it.
Read her if you seek a way to be in this world.


It is but a small book.

Go see what it has to say.



Blogger 21k said...

A small book which has found a very big-hearted reader. I'm so insanely lucky.
Thank you Scott.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

Thank you for the tip!

2:09 PM  
Blogger dottie kee bones said...

i ordered it a couple weeks ago and i'm patiently waiting.


4:49 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

I have mine!!!!!!!

3:46 PM  
Blogger 21k said...

I still don't have mine! This almost feels like a great big electronic hoax! haha

and my word verification is about as close to bubblehead as it can get.

9:19 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

What a rip-off!

Call me and I'll read it to you over the phone.

Of course, you know what it sounds like...

I have to say that the work has affected me like no other I've encountered. It is like a food I can't stop tasting, the flavors rich and subtle and mysterious despite being assembled from seemingly plain and simple ingredients.

And that, of course, is not it at all. It is richer. More unsettling.

Those long strands of wire lying coiled in the weeds, springing & looping in menace...

I am so damn proud to know you.



9:37 AM  
Blogger The Godfather said...

i got mine. it took some time. i devoured it. i loved the bickering, it completed the picture somehow.

2:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home