New Books Network

Ryo Yamaguchi

The Refusal of Suitors

Noemi Press 2015

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in PoetryNew Books Network September 14, 2015 Jennifer Fitzgerald

Does form make the poem? Robert Frost claimed that writing free verse poetry was “like playing tennis without a net.” Ryo Yamaguchi‘s poetry challenges...

Does form make the poem?

Robert Frost claimed that writing free verse poetry was “like playing tennis without a net.” Ryo Yamaguchi‘s poetry challenges the notion of imposing our will and wonders after the permeability of content. This poet understands the subjectivity of perception and does not insist on form, but instead loosely allows the verse to be contained.

These are the experiences of a wandering poet–one who has known many containers, natural and man-made, who knows how little the natural world tolerates containment; how felled redwoods will sprout new life from up from their horizontal trunks and wisteria will climb and reach with the wide berth of the sun’s rays.

But Yamaguchi does not write rainforests and plains, he writes the internal life, the interactions, the “urban sublime” and gives it the reach the natural world. He finds amazement in all versions of beauty.

Say I never understood the definition of purpose,

why bore, flux, revise, tender, ensconce, or what

have you– never to think the metallic fires were in that much need of improvement

when this pear is sweet over here in the single day

of my life.

Purchase this books to enjoy the groups of poems that create systems and conversations within the larger system of a collection. This will be the first of many collections by Yamaguchi and I look forward to reading the future compressions and expansions of image, container, and experience.