Signs Wonders Kindle ✓ Hardcover

2 thoughts on “Signs Wonders

  1. Amy Amy says:

    As you begin this new book of poetry by Charles Martin you’re given the direction to look at the words “signs” and “wonders” in a particular light signs being used as a noun while “wonders” is to be used as a verb A small detail but one that makes a significant impact on the reading The implication is that Martin is offering not complete and finished expressions but little riffs on which to ponder and reflect uponMy first impression was how varied the poems are some are short almost just an observation rather than a poem Others have a limerick uality while a few extend to pages of rhymed couplets For some reason I was predisposed to think of this as “serious” poetry but in fact I giggled uncontrollably at a few of them “The Spaniard” for one His topics also vary and yet the whole remains cohesive One example is “Brooklyn in the Seventies” where at first it appears he’s waxing nostalgic about thriving real estate and restoring brownstones and then it pivots to discuss the variations in marriage the times of tearing down and renewal The parallels are uncanny and truly lead you to wonderYes selves were in a frenzy of commotionAnd those beyond their expiration datesWere being tossed despite years of devotionSo whether by one’s doing or by fate’sOne found oneself in an unlikely placeMy favorite is “Ovid to His Book” in which the ancient poet imagines sending to one of his books Rome to somehow regain his entry to the city from which he’s exiled In the poem he counsels the tangible book as to proper decorum and strategyGo on your way now book and speak for meIn places that I love but cannot beSaluting those whom I have come to meetOn metrical if on no other feetWhen biting words offend you just recallThe best defense is often none at allAnd if you’d really have my exile endGo find us both an influential friend“After 911” is likely to be the most moving of the poetry in the book as Martin relays the emotions and actions of New Yorkers at the moment of the tragedy and in the aftermath searching for loved ones Yet he goes in a different direction noting that at one time Manhattan was the site of a battle of George Washington and that buried bones are not uncommon Rather they form the foundation of the island historically and culturally and create “a sublime alignment of the present with the past”Against the need to hold them all in thoughtTime is what places them beyond recallAgainst the need of the falling to be caughtAgainst the woman who’s begun to fallAgainst the woman who is watching from belowTime is the photo peeling from the wallIn total Martin covers a dramatic amount of subjects George W Bush art the “unreal” pain of a poet endangered animals and suicide In doing so he makes thematic comparisons that are never cliché or trite Only one title “Poem for the Millennium” left me lost I didn’t know what to make of the style and phrasing that was evoking the events of the year 2000

  2. Alex Pepple Alex Pepple says:

    Goes from serious to playful from the contemporary to the ancient Crafted in a conversational style that is as simple as it is elegant Simply the work of a masterAnd I have a full review of this book forthcoming in THINK JOURNAL

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Signs Wonders Signs is a noun as in DO NOT DISTURB; Wonders as in with furrowed brows a verbThe couplet that leads into Charles Martin's fifth collection of richly inventive poems suggests that the world is to be read into and wondered over The signs in this new work from the prize winning American poet of formal brilliance and darkly comic sensibility are as stark as the one on a cage at the zoo that says ENDANGERED SPECIES as surprising as those that announce the return of irony and as enigmatic as a single word carved on a tombstone Renowned for his translations of Ovid's Metamorphoses and the poems of Catullus Martin brings the perspective of history to bear on the stuff of contemporary life

  • Hardcover
  • 96 pages
  • Signs Wonders
  • Charles Martin
  • English
  • 09 May 2016
  • 9780801899744

About the Author: Charles Martin

Charles Martin born 1942 is a poet critic and one of the foremost translators of Latin poetry