About The Book
Engaging and secretive, provocative and profound, Kay Ryan’s poems have generated growing excitement with their appearances in The New Yorker and other leading periodicals. Sometimes gaudily ornamental, sometimes Shaker-plain, here is verse that is compact on the page and expansive in the mind. Here is verse that is serious fun.
Elephant Rocks, Kay Ryan’s third book of verse, shows a virtuoso practitioner at the top of her form. Appealing to a wide range of readers, Ryan’s work reaches out both to those who wish to be invited into a poem and to those who insist on being persistently intrigued.
Above all what distinguishes Kay Ryan as a poet is her flamboyant imagination and large ambition. she has embarked on a major poetic career, and this book confirms her as one of the most distinctive and attractive voices to come along in years.
“These poems show a poet who is terribly sly in her reckoning of our world.” —David St. John
“The music of these poems is every bit as seductive as their reasoning. Her thinking flaunts the plush, irresistible textures of organic growth; we’d no sooner disagree with it than quarrel with a moss. Marvelous.” —Timothy Donnelly, Boston Review
“These are fine poems that inspire us with poetry’s greatest gifts: the music of language and the force of wisdom.” —Annie Dillard
“Here is the truth entire, a poetics of restitution, the world put back together.” —American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets
“Kay Ryan makes it all fresh again with her highly original vision, her elegant, quirky craft. These poems look easy, but the deeper one delves, the more they astonish and astound.” —May Sarton
“Kay Ryan works toward an exciting art, much less sparse than it looks. This is natural history seen from an angle of vision that Emerson and Dickinson would have approved. It refreshes me to find poems that require and reward rereading as much as these do.” —Harold Bloom
“So original, so astute, so pleasurable are the poems in this book, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they’re still being read long after current critical fashions are dated.” —Andrew Frisardi, Poetry
A Cat/A Future
A cat can draw
behind her eyes
alters in the stare
itself but she’s
not there. Likewise
a future can occlude:
still sitting there,
doing nothing rude.