Reviews for Budget Travel Through Space And Time : Poems


Booklist Reviews 2005 February #2
Goldbarth has produced another brashly original, mind-blowing collection of poems. Though it's not for the faint-hearted, open-minded readers will hop on Goldbarth's mental train and travel through awe--inspiring, and sometimes stupefying, leaps of association, encountering pharaohs, Victorians, da Vinci, even Paul Revere. With the overarching concept of movement through time and space, Goldbarth takes on sex, birth, divorce, and death, revealing myriad ways one can travel, whether within the body's territory, beyond the body, or even "out of one's mind." A "mad scientist" of language, Goldbarth experiments with word compounds, brings things to boiling points, bumps matter against matter, and dissects our multilayered reality. His quirkily erudite, incongruously hip, and awkwardly human poetic expression shines in lines like "The moon is a baby's nail-paring; the moon is the huge, / round resume of the career of light; the moon is a curd of afterglow." He is the weaver of association, fiction, biography, and trivia, "spinning" ideas, opinions, and descriptions we just might buy. Goldbarth can take us places we've never been. ((Reviewed February 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

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Library Journal Reviews 2005 February #2
Goldbarth, twice winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, incorporates many postmodernist techniques in his 23rd collection. He uses collage, quotes (often including the sources in his lines), snippets from magazine articles, and even quizzes. In the playfully titled "Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart," he writes, "we'd have no guiding (check one)/ )track )map )pole star )passion )overriding moral vision...." Often the poems resemble elaborate thought-quilts that include seemingly unrelated subjects: friends divorcing, articles from Harper's, and archaeological finds, as in the poem "Otzi." At times this poem loses focus and becomes too proselike, but in the end it circles back to Otzi's sexual preference and how this relates to his male friend's divorce. Obviously, Goldbarth uses written text to jump-start many of his poems. His prolific reading gives his poems interest and texture but at times weighs them down too heavily with facts. In the title poem, however, Goldbarth moves from scrutinizing books to doing what he does best: confronting the distant, the intangible: "The moon is a baby's nail paring; the moon is the huge,/ round resum‚ of the career of light; the moon is a curd of afterglow." In the same poem, he writes of his wife's sleeping/dreaming: "If life is a stem,/ by definition its flowering grows outside of the stem." These poems are traveling poems, not only because of their subjects-Tuvalu, the Carolina coast, the past, the present-but also because they take us on journeys beyond our daily lives. A profound collection; recommended for all libraries.-Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Library Journal Reviews 2006 April #2

Goldbarth's collections are true excursions, with the poet serving as a loquacious, entertaining, and ever-informed host. Who else would invite us for a ride on " 'the fastest and the vastest'--some/ loud-trumpeted ad slogan a while ago, for yet another/ überglobal, multizillion-dollar telecyberfiber transport system"? Here Goldbarth salts his slapstick take on the world with some gravitas and again proves why he's won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry not once but twice. (LJ 2/15/05)

[Page 80]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 March #1
Goldbarth's 23rd volume of verse begins with a joke about astrophysics and ends with a man kneeling to kiss "the mouth of the Sphinx"; in between, the improbably exuberant, undeniably polymathic and frequently moving poems and sequences touch on sinking Pacific islands, ancient Martians, "the rather ramlike bas-relief faces of Babylonian gods," the first few American presidents, Yiddish words, pickpockets, tattoos and prayers. Almost all these topics illuminate one another; Goldbarth (Troubled Lovers in History, etc.) can connect anything to anything else in a heartbeat. Though Goldbarth's rapid, slightly talky style has not changed since his last few outings (two of which picked up National Book Critics Circle Awards), the volume marks a new publisher and perhaps a new balance between Goldbarth's recent gravity and his much-appreciated levity. Many poems concern aging and time, in individuals and in civilizations, from cave paintings to the amorous, ill-fated, erotic entanglements of patients in nursing homes. Readers of science writing, of science fiction, of personal essays, of American or Jewish history should find something to love in Goldbarth's "lollapalooza kaboom/ in inventing the future," and his "equal urge to reconstruct/ and solve the past." (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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