Praise and Poems
Michael Davidson, discussing George Oppen and the Objectivists, speaks of ‘language as participant in thought’. In the waltz in my blood we witness a language-led experiment as unprecedented as it is thought-provoking. Revisiting prior collections, Mario Petrucci runs his earlier poems through the mill of his current approach, using the ‘originals’ as metaphorical and linguistic grist. In effect, he rethinks the older sensibility by means of a younger language — one he has voiced energetically throughout his ongoing, evolutionary i tulips project. Presented side by side, some poem-pairs glide Astaire-and-Rogers-like across the dance floor, locked together cheek to cheek; others, however, do not care to avoid toes — in fact, seem more like sparring partners.
The second part of the book moves boldly into ‘rewrites’ of other poets, with Petrucci inviting those authors to participate in his enterprise by suggesting fresh directions in diction, imagery and style. the waltz in my blood is undoubtedly a major tributary within the vast delta of Petrucci’s i tulips sequence; but it also provides a fascinating insight into the richly complex creativity informing this vital, vibrantly contemporary dialogue between British and American modernist poetics.
Mario Petrucci is a true polymath, blending disciplines to exultant and exalting effect… Petrucci’s tulips promise to grow into a truly ambitious landmark body of work.
Poetry Book Society Bulletin
Petrucci is somebody working with a lively circum-spection in a tradition he’s demonstrating not to have been merely an early-to-mid-20th-century exploration.
Resounds with the poet’s characteristic layering of insight, his fascination with the fractured musical opportunities offered by the poetic line… his utter commitment and devotion to language.
Anything by Petrucci is worth pausing for.
Times Literary Supplement
wrinkle in time
– irreversible gingerbread
softening in its thimbled broth
us to that
-hour we wrestled
slow & emphatic for the not yet
now – that bedside
way you pull off your skirt & thought
we have yet to give
water to or some aroma sweet &
shrill – transparent
smoke clung to ceilings
filoed by light that monthly
petalling flesh to palm
each fist or
swirl our muffling