October 01 , 2007




Here is Sono, a new collection of bracingly original poems, from the prizewinning author of Visits from the Seventh. Composed during a long stay in Rome, these cantos look outward in order to look inward, transforming sights and stories into expressionistic explorations of the state of the heart. Playful, probing, philosophical, colorful, often funny, they describe a struggle to come to terms with loss and grief and to find a basis for renewal; they ask whether and how life is worth living, taking pleasure in the questions themselves. “It wasn’t the life I would have wanted, / had I known what sort of life I did want,” starts the poem entitled “Chagrin.” “I do believe I was never loved,” announces “Obelisk.” Riffing expertly, Sarah Arvio brings wit and exquisite formal discipline to her gorgeous meditations on the life lived. These are high-burning songs of the self— colloquial, sexy, unflinching, and unforgettable.
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A colossal mess I made of my life,
in the flesh and also in the round;
this was the essence of colosseum,

the museum of my colossal shame,
where I mused on the blood sport of it all. . .
(from "Colosseum")

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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