Publication date: 24th May 2013
The thirty-nine poems of anima bring a distinctive, archetypal potency to the closing stages of Mario Petrucci’s larger i tulips project, the 1111-strong sequence in which this sub-sequence crucially sits. These challengingly-unorthodox poems are, in one sense, impromptu investigations into the anima-impetus within the male psyche; but they also immerse the reader in a primal love poetry that is sensuous yet vulnerable.
Arising organically from prior modernist experiment, Petrucci’s style nevertheless remains utterly contemporary. His mastery of the shape and sound of each poem makes for an intense and all-consuming experience, refocusing an array of influences through an acute lyrical sensibility. By yielding so completely to the power of linguistic transformation, these searing, necessary poems capture both the crisis and the beauty of the heart’s innermost voyage.
Praise for anima:
“Mario Petrucci’s anima is a revelation of the underside of a human heart submitting to the contradictions of love, doubt and mortality. This remarkable work reconfigures the soul as well as the mind, through language that shapes the ineffable into a visceral, triumphant poetry.” - Alexandra Burack [American poet and educator]
“The tensile delicacy of Petrucci’s lines springs back with a very English baroque, Miltonic surprise: sense-ambush occurs in the next line, skewering what's gone before. Between these line-breaks rests a declamatory silence tested to snapping. This is major work to cast shadows.” - Álvaro de Campos [tr. Simon Jenner]
“With a brio and tenderness all of their own, these new lyric poems are modernist marvels, word sculptures pared to their very essence… Petrucci’s tulips promise to grow into a truly ambitious landmark body of work.” - Poetry Book Society Bulletin [Spring 2010]
Mario Petrucci: “Reminiscent of e.e. cummings at his best”, Petrucci's work is “vivid, generous and life-affirming” (Envoi). His most recent poems, inspired by Black Mountain and hailed as "modernist marvels" (Poetry Book Society), embrace contemporary issues of searing social and personal relevance via a distinctive combination of innovation and humanity. Through groundbreaking residencies, poetry films and a remarkable output of ecopoetry, his unique scientific sensibility has tirelessly illuminated the linguistic as well as emotive resonances of love and loss in the public and private domains. Whether exploring the tragedies of Chernobyl (Heavy Water, 2004) or immersing himself in heart-rending invention (i tulips, 2010), Petrucci aspires to "Poetry on a geological scale” (Verse).
London in the dark end-times of the late noughties; escaped war criminals and their hired thugs scavenge like hyenas amid the city’s smut and glitter, the system appears in nonchalant free-fall and words drop cheaply as grimy metropolitan rain. With this dystopian backdrop, where language is spun, redacted and renditioned, Chris McCabe and Jeremy Reed’s gritty riposte performs an angry and elegant resistance.
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