by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2024
Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s fourth collection is a book as lustrous as the metal of its title.
This beautiful, slender collection—small and weighted like a coin—is Rowan Ricardo Phillips at his very best. These luminous, unsparing, dreamlike poems are as lyrical as they are virtuosic. “Not the meaning,” Phillips writes, “but the meaningfulness of this mystery we call life” powers these poems as they conjure their prismatic array of characters, textures, and moods. As it reverberates through several styles (blank verse, elegy, terza rima, rhyme royal, translation, rap), Silver reimagines them with such extraordinary vision and alluring strangeness that they sound irrepressibly fresh and vibrant. From beginning to end, Silver is a collection that reflects Phillips’s guiding principle—“part physics, part faith, part void”—that all is reflected in poetry and poetry is reflected in all.
This is work that brings into acute focus the singular and glorious power of poetry in our complex world.
A Note From the Publisher
"A collection to ponder in wonder." —Michael Ruzicka, Booklist
"Musical and erudite, the latest from Phillips offers an extended ars poetica in which poetry is 'a ritual that the sun organizes/ and arranges' . . . Readers will take pleasure in this poetical flowering." —Publishers Weekly
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Average rating from 7 members
Ricardo Rowan Phillips is just a fantastic poet. Everything he writes comes with a new perspective, a new take on what poetry can do. It's difficult for me to say too much about his poems because I believe his poems have to be individually experienced by each reader. When you read one of his poems you'll want to read it again. There's so much in each line, stanza, word. I love how he reinterprets other admirable poet's work by including his thoughts within the context of his own poem. He does this with Stevens, Wordsworth, Auden, and Eliot. It's like listening to a great jazz composition, whereby there's these little phrases from other legendary jazz musicians included and riffed on in the new composition. The performance of the new piece re-generates and transforms the old into the new, while forging ahead, leaving us in awe.