Poems by Dana Gioia
”If there's a turn now toward a more traditional poetry . . . then Gioia's in the vanguard. If not, then he must seem even more singular, an original. In either case, his work - in which dream and reality keep intersecting most beautifully - has to count simply by being so very good.”
- Donald Justice
“Page for page, seldom has a first collection offered so many aesthetically, psychologically, and philosophically satisfying poems.”
“Daily Horoscope is a stunning first book... Gioia is a master of forms. He experiments with old ones, and in a few instances has taken to inventing new ones.”
- Robert Phillips, Arrival
“Mr. Gioia is a refined and unusually gifted writer.”
- Thomas Swiss, The New York Times Book Review
“Daily Horoscope, in the finest sense, represents the perfect synthesis of maker and object made. It would be specious to praise this volume as a first book. Gioia has given us a book that is more accomplished than recent publication by many more celebrated practitioners.”
- Robert McDowell, The Hudson Review
“Here we have a truly exceptional poet. In his mid-thirties, Dana Gioia can be compared to Wallace Stevens and not be routed by the comparison.”
- Virginia Quarterly Review
Cruising with the Beachboys
So strange to hear that song again tonight
Travelling on business in a rented car
Miles from anywhere I've been before.
And now a tune I haven't heard for years
Probably not since it last left the charts
Back in L.A. in 1969.
I can't believe I know the words by heart
And can't think of a girl to blame them on.
Every lovesick summer has its song,
And this one I pretended to despise,
But if I was alone when it came on,
I turned it up full-blast to sing along-
A primal scream in croaky baritone,
The notes all flat, the lyrics mostly slurred.
No wonder I spent so much time alone
Making the rounds in Dad's old Thunderbird.
Some nights I drove down to the beach to park
And walk along the railings of the pier.
The water down below was cold and dark,
The waves monotonous against the shore.
The darkness and the mist, the midnight sea,
The flickering lights reflected from the city -
A perfect setting for a boy like me,
The Cecil B. DeMille of my self-pity.
I thought by now I'd left those nights behind,
Lost like the girls I could never get,
Gone with the years, junked with the old T-bird.
But one old song, a stretch of empty road,
Can open up a door and let them fall
Tumbling like boxes from a dusty shelf,
Tightening my throat for no reason at all
Bringing on tears shed only for myself.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Book design: Tree Swenson
Publication: 1986 (96 pages laminated paperback)