Edited By Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott
Chapter Eleven: Shadows and Radiance: The Collapsed Borders
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Shadows AND Radiance
The Collapsed Borders
Late Rapturous (2012), Frank X. Gaspar’s fifth volume of poems, may take by surprise his regular reader, used as he has been to the ebb and flow of lines patterned upon irregular length and rhythm, distinctive of his earlier poetry, especially from Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death (1995) onwards. Instead, he will find the apparent blurring of borders between verse and prose by leisurely sprawling lines across the page, now and then breaking into minor indents as if the right margins were not justified or the poet’s ample breath, like the ripple of a wave, would halt just for the tiniest split of a second before rushing into the remaining tide of words. The intention to take poetry into experimental fields of varying rhythms is, however, very much ingrained in Gaspar’s previous poetic practice and announced in this collection by the choice of a title supporting a cluster of meanings, which, similarly to the titles of the earlier volumes, will act as the force of gravity for the inside poems. Late Rapturous signals, indeed, both a state of mind and a painterly style, which in the title poem is revealed as De Kooning’s, and of which the reader is aware mainly through the poet’s emotional response when he looks at those paintings and his gaze is returned to us: “What / I needed...
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