“Amid the middleness,/ there’s the feeling/ that anything can be seen/ and nothing reached.” And yet reach he does, and we can only be stunned by all within his grasp. “Polar can mean opposites, harsh light, or a vast white blankness, and it is an apt title for Gibson’s first poetry collection, which reverberates with absences—weather, time, places, sensations—either going or gone.”
Available in print.
Dobby Gibson’s latest collection of poetry is Little Glass Planet (Graywolf Press, 2019). He’s the author of three previous collections, including It Becomes You (Graywolf Press), which was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. His first book, Polar (Alice James Books), won the Alice James Award.
“…Gibson’s land teems with a language so alive and so imaginative that one cannot help but read on with wonder and rapture.”
“I have read few more quotable first books…Polar is friendly, yearning, observant, immediately winning and witty.”
—The Yale Review
“Gibson often reminds us that the seemingly illogical leaps the imagination makes can many times push out into deeper emotional territory.”
“Dobby Gibson’s first book Polar, the winner of the 2004 Beatrice Hawley Award, picks up the baton left by Wallace Stevens in his last proper book, The Rock….Taken one way, I think, Stevens and Gibson both say that poetry’s obligation to reveal truth is forever renewable. Taken another way, they both say the whole enterprise of finding truth through the poem is the reddest of herrings; simply the pleasure of the attempt makes it worth the price of admission.”
“Polar is a carefully crafted book, comprised of four coherent sections, united not only in their themes of existential, melting intransigence, but also by the strength of Gibson’s undiluted voice. Although he has more than one trick up his sleeve, there is a pleasing consistency in the way Gibson crafts each line, as well as in the way one plainspoken short line follows another. His signature is the craftsmanlike progression of his clear images—the way that subtle assonance or internal rhyme leads the reader from one image to the next.”
“The poems in Polar are anything but frozen; they reveal themselves and revel in their movement. In figures as elaborate and beautiful as frost, Dobby Gibson reinvents poetic argument, often as surprised and delighted by its own wild and energetic means as it is by its wild and sometimes mordant conclusions.”
“These poems are written by a true poet, someone in love with the world and mad at it too, and they are also written by a very particular poet, Dobby Gibson, who is madly in love with the other mysterious inner world each of us possesses and reveals when no one else is looking. ‘It may be true that everything / has already been said, / but it’s just as true that not everyone / has had a chance to say it.’ How can one not listen to the innards of a young poet who announces as much and then sets out, in his first book, to make it new? One can’t not listen. One must.”
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