Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Copeland and Harp on Chimes


Brooklyn Copeland has blossomed into one of my favorite younger poets. I have a review of her Borrowed House coming out soon. I was honored that she chose to review my Blazevox book Chimes on Goodreads. Here is what she said:

To be perfectly honest, I was equally excited and skeptical about reading this, and I still wouldn’t want to read about EVERY poet’s childhood/adolescence… especially not in such literal terms. But the fact is that Adam has created a very likeable character, and it’s that character (and what he chooses to reveal v. what he leaves out) that keeps you reading from one colorful burst of recollection to the next- and even forget that you're reading "poetry." Many of his subjects are immediate, from takes on fractured family life to experiences with classic rock music, but the presentation is a really comfy blend of fresh-enough perspective and common-ground heartache/insecurity/self-obsessiveness. I hate the word “poignant,” but that’s the one that comes to mind. You almost wonder if you’ve seen this character before, in a classic novella or short story- Salinger or early Roth. Or as Bud Cort in Harold and Maude. There’s also something kooky and affected about the tone sometimes- almost like an imitation of an older way of talking. Like listening to old recordings of the first modernist poets. It’s usually pretty endearing. Since I don’t know Adam personally, I’m allowed to say something like that. It’s a lovely book all-around. You can’t NOT like it. The design is cool, too...

And this is Grady Harp, from the Chimes Wiki:

Adam Fieled is a poet who has discovered (or has evolved from) those fragile filaments that connect the cells of thought in their most nascent stage: he makes us aware of the intangible moments in the development of our memory and history that make us unique. Where this gift begins is offered in evidence in this magical collection of poems, CHIMES.

Able to retrace early thoughts from childhood in the voice of the memory catcher of that age is only one of the little miracles of these very personal poems. Perhaps autobiographical, perhaps not, the poems contain moments of awakening that are fresh and novel and yet connect with the reader in a way that makes them part of the reader's musings on pasts that hold moments of change or connection to the world of 'otherness'. From childhood through the journey to adulthood each of these poems - free form in style and placed at the top of separate pages to allow each thought to digest - describes moments in a manner that is deceptively simple. Re-reading or just recalling each poem unveils more, much like the music of wind chimes once moved by the air leaves vibrations in the atmosphere. In #20, 'Things shifted. I went from cool to killed-by-lack-thereof. In a period of isolation, I learned about reversals, about temporality and its ruthless one-handedness....I learned thusly how one must wait to be blessed, that patience is a virtue close to heaven, that all things are eventually answered by their opposites, if the soul is maintained closely. I learned that seasons have each a particular flavor and shape, like candy and snowflakes, and that each season must have a slightly different meaning.'

Adam Fieled takes us through discoveries, through music, through infatuation and tactile sensation to relationships, through moments of humor and of profound introspection. He is a difficult poet to quote for single lines of example, so tightly bound are his 59 poems shared here. On the cover of this very special book are simple handprints - green, blue, rust - from different hands, different lives, different beings. The manner in which Fieled writes somehow ties us all together, if just for a moment, as though he is able to see his and our thinking painted in words. This is a gifted poet whose talent in discovering our consciousness has only just begun. Highly recommended.


Chimes can be listened to in its entirety on PennSound (1, 2, 3, 4). This is a piece from Chimes in Scotland's Osprey Poetry.

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Chimes is now ('12) placed in The Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London. Thanks to Chris McCabe.

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