“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.”—Mary Ruefle
A poetry descended from the New York School, Dobby Gibson’s award-winning debut is witty and expansive, driven by precise, interconnected abstractions. Gibson writes about desire in American life, observing, “Amid the middleness, / there’s the feeling / that anything can be seen / and nothing reached,” seeking his truths in misunderstandings and the relentless Midwestern winter.
From No Wake
The snowflakes taxi. The full moon coolly
Dobby Gibson holds an MFA in fiction from Indiana University. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Fence, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a $25,000 McKnight Foundation poetry fellow-ship and two Pushcart nominations.
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PolarUser Review - Book Verdict
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. In diction and concept, the collection draws from both pop culture or the mundane ("What happens in Vegas," a "floofy" blanket) and from the elevated or abstract ("full of speech and soup, storm and thee"). Though Gibson's odd syntax and similes (bubbles rise "like a pack of rehabilitated balloons released back into the wild") do require some effort on the part of the reader, he also makes some astonishing observations, as when "we walk out onto the roofs of frozen lakes/ simply because we're stunned/ we really can." Winner of the 2004 Beatrice Hauley Award, this collection will be at home in all public and academic libraries, especially in the company of contemporaries like Dave Smith and Terence Winch who love both language and the world for their strangeness.--Clarinda Harriss, Towson Univ., MD
Review: PolarUser Review - Goodreads
Good. Not quite my bag, generally speaking, but some real fine poems.