George Bradley, whose previous work has drawn praise from James Merrill and Harold Bloom, here meditates on contemporary culture, on the natural world and the world imagined, and on the life of the poet. Whether he is standing in line at the SuperSave, where tabloids beckon, or contemplating the change of seasons in a classic sonnet sequence, Bradley juxtaposes the sublime workings of the mind with the mundane static that surrounds it. What he finds in this conjunction is a surprising beauty, a uniquely contemporary formal music, and, often, a curative dose of humor. Even verse itself is not exempt from his clarifying view, as he proves in “How I Got in the Business,” a wild ride through several sorts of commerce, including the poetry trade. Throughout Some Assembly Required, Bradley savors both the riveting accident of everyday life and the long view afforded by art, in poetry that is taut, witty, and dynamic.
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Published August 7, 2001
Literature & Fiction.