Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Ocean

by Neil Azevedo

“There is friendship in Neil Azevedo’s vision. A warm tone flow. Brutal history is confronted with thoughts edged and graceful. And his dad poems are some of the best, most intense you’ll come across. Good stuff!” –Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 80
  • Publication Date April 28, 2005
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4196-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.00

About The Book

DER ERLK”NIG

I see you now, lit by myself: evening’s disguise, color of mist, semblance of vines, the pleach of clouds swollen with hail.
We touch the ground swiftly; you’ve shown
me how to hide, to escape in flight’s shadow.
I see you in the shine of the horse
in hooves moist with alfalfa, slower
in bean-spears and in dirt hay-fragrant.
And I follow through the hands of trees
galloping to accept your gifts, Majesty,
with need to be bells warning of frost.
With love, now, show me how to move.
I have come home to lie down in you–
saint-like and febrile at dusk.


Neil Azevedo’s Ocean introduces a shadowy world populated with dogs and snakes, suicide and children, sickness and satire, Satan and Christ, yet one doesn’t feel soggy with introspection. Instead, wisdom emerges from these often personal and well-articulated lyrics; the reader is moved by the juxtaposition of savagery of subject and delicacy of touch. The verbal and often gothic brilliance of the language is stunning. It’s not often that a young poet successfully embraces meter, finding a refined, velvet-toned style, and creates such a stellar debut.

Praise

Ocean is a remarkable first book, at once intensely passionate and coolly crafted. In these poems “God sleeps’ while the stranded voice wanders in the dark, finding kinship in “the hesitations that coil in bats’ or “the velvet drape of roots.” In the “Caspar Hauser Songs,” a bizarre and haunting sequence unlike anything now being written, he takes us to the very brink of the isolated self. Azevedo is the only poet I know who can take such discarded pieties and make them utterly new and startling in their sorrow and conviction. From the brilliant title poem to the lovely portrait of “The Bearded Seal” that concludes the book, these poems with their densely textured language and fierce feeling move us even as they bring delight.” –Eric Ormsby

“There is friendship in Neil Azevedo’s vision. A warm tone flow. Brutal history is confronted with thoughts edged and graceful. And his dad poems are some of the best, most intense you’ll come across. Good stuff!” –Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth

“Neil Azevedo’s poetry gets at truths we rarely see.

This is powerful, disturbing and disorienting stuff of the kind that ultimately warms my heart. Masterful, efficient and singing with cold-blooded passion, this is easily my favorite book of poetry this year.” –Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Wilco