February 28, 2011 Comments Off on

“Obsessively I wish Yahweh would just go away, because I don’t like him or trust him, but he won’t go. Stanley Moss has his own mode for confronting this dilemma, and he handles it eloquently.” 

“Again and again, coming upon a poem of Stanley Moss’s, I have had the feeling of being taken by surprise. Not simply by the eloquence or the direct authenticity of the language, for I had come to expect those in his poems. The surprise arose from the nature of his poetry itself, and from the mystery that his poems confront and embody, which makes them both intense and memorable.” —W.S. MERWIN

“It is time to celebrate the singular beauty and power of Stanley Moss’s poetry….The damp genius of mortality presides.”

“These are poems made of experience and high intellect. From the first measured trope to the last haunting moment, in which God equals a question, these poems curse and sing about the blessings and tragedies of personal life. Embracing the larger world, they’re also hardy psalms that make me say, Thanks for this important, gutsy collection.”

“The poetry of the ages is an argument with God, so it is said; but not many poets attempt it today. Stanley Moss does. In many voices, in lines rugged yet eloquent, in different places and with various learnings, he sings us songs of his unbelievable belief, his unlovable love songs of anguish, songs any of us would sing if we could. I find them disconcerting and extraordinarily moving.”

“Magisterial…this book is magnificent. I’ve read it several times with greater and greater pleasure. Its verbal generosity and bravura, its humanity, the quality and quantity of information which it integrates into poetry of the highest order make it a continuing delight.”

“Over the past decade Stanley Moss has tapped into a well of feeling and a wealth of metaphor and memory that have made him one of the most moving and eloquent American poets. His rueful yet celebratory poems on the illness and death of friends are remarkable examples of this late-life creative surge. They are poems to read and reread, poems to cherish as they cherish their subjects.”

“The raw beauty and ugliness of stones, of an animal’s snout; the horror of the Holocaust as experienced by one’s ancestors; the dumb wonder of daily being—these are some of the strands in Stanley Moss’s marvelous new collection of poems, made out of ‘certain words / he hoped might not be his face, / words he misspelled / in languages he barely knew, but every letter / was hair and tooth.’ Beyond private recollections the vast uneasy matter of the inevitability (or not) of being always looms: ‘While in the great head / what is happening and what happen mingle, for neither has to be.’ Unthinkable questions, perhaps, but when he formulates them they take on the quiet urgency of common daylight. This is Stanley Moss’s finest book so far: an impressive achievement.”

“A book of great originality. Each poem has its own original life. I return to this poetry again and again.”


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