Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dana Gioia Reflects on our Times

A pivotal benediction in my year has been discovering a great poet of our time: Dana Gioia.  Until I am able to write my own comprehensive, critical response to the businessman poet, public intellect and former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, I'll share with you a meaningful, intelligent examination of Gioia's NEA accomplishments and his latest collection of poetry, Pity the Beautiful, published in The Catholic World Reporter.

"In Pity the Beautiful, the depth and variety of the poems makes rich fare. His own finely crafted works—musical to the ear, pleasing to the eye, and written in several interesting voices—include tales of married love, of what seemed to be love but wasn’t, of love lost or remembered; a long ghost tale told by a monk; satirical jabs at soulless modernity; songs from his libretto for the opera Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast; a profound parody of the Beatitudes; and tender personal poems remembering his father and his son. An additional delight is the inclusion of several of Gioia’s masterful translations from Italian poets Mario Luzi and Bartolo Cattafi."  

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