Alan Shapiro's seventh collection celebrates art as a woefully inadequate yet necessary source of comfort. "Amazingly sensitive and tough-minded" (Tom Sleigh), the poems in Song and Dance intimately describe the complicated feelings that attend the catastrophic loss of a loved one. In 1998, Shapiro's brother, David, an actor on Broadway, was diagnosed with an incurable forAlan Shapiro's seventh collection celebrates art as a woefully inadequate yet necessary source of comfort. "Amazingly sensitive and tough-minded" (Tom Sleigh), the poems in Song and Dance intimately describe the complicated feelings that attend the catastrophic loss of a loved one. In 1998, Shapiro's brother, David, an actor on Broadway, was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. Song and Dance recounts the poet's emotional journey through the last months of his brother's life, exploring feelings too often ignored in official accounts of grief: horror, relief, impatience, exhaustion, exhilaration, fear, self-criticism, fulfillment....
|Title||:||Song and Dance: Poems|
|Number of Pages||:||80 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Song and Dance: Poems Reviews
You don't expect to see a poem titled "Joy" in a book about death (amazing poem, btw), but Shapiro investigates every emotion imaginable upon the impending death of his brother (and also touches on the death of his sister only a few years prior). You know from personal experience of grief that these must have been incredibly painful and difficult poems to write, yet they have such an elegance and intentionality, even a playfulness at times, that it's clear Shapiro was keen to create the fullest picture possible of his brother, their relationship, and their places within the family as he was writing and grieving. "Up Against" was one of my favorites, capturing both the rivalry and the sweetness of that rivalry between siblings in a succinct exploration. "Fly" is a metaphysical meditation on the body and similarly impressive. There is a tremendous range of emotion here, all of it clear-eyed and all of it necessary. "Three Questions" is one of the best poems I've ever read on the subject of death and the questions it brings, and "The Old Man" is wrenching. An amazing book.
Song and Dance tells the story of Shapiro’s brother’s illness and death from brain cancer, starting with his diagnosis. Shapiro’s writing is raw in a take-no-prisoners manner. He writes the rarely acknowledged emotions of grief, such as anger and rage, and portrays honest snippets of illness and dying that aren’t pretty or peaceful. “What did it mean, the moaning? Or could you evencall it a moan, what bore no trace of a voice we could recognize as his?”(The Big Screen)Shapiro’s brother was an actor, a Broadway song and dance man. Many of the poems contain allusions to show business and classic show tunes. The opening poem, “Everything the Traffic Will Allow,” has the young brothers lip-syncing to Ethel Merman while their parents cheer them on. Later, in “Broadway Revival,” Shapiro says “I play the brotherwho doesn’t know his lines”Shapiro is known as a formalist poet, and the forms he uses in this collection serve the subject. Some of the poems use short, almost staccato lines, placed at various points on the page. There is a tension, a sense of containment, to the placement that emphasizes the unpredictability of life and the unfairness of illness and death.“Can’t eat, can’t drink, can’t do athing except just liein bed before the TVhe’s too sick to watch”(The Phone Call)Song and Dance is much more than a collection about a brother’s death; it is a story of family and memory, a song for a sibling’s life. “You should have heard him, his voice wasunforgettable, irresistible, his voicewas an imaginary gardenwoven through with fragrance.”(Song and Dance)
Heart-wrenching poems about the premature passing of the poet's older brother. Beautiful, but hard to read. Shapiro's gift is forcing you to his position, to his grief, which suddenly becomes your own.
A beautiful and heartbreaking book that deals with some of the raw emotions tied to death and dying.
Crisp, fresh and unaffected verse on painful topic matter. Profoundly moving.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Shapiro successfully does what so many others have failed to, incorporate song lyrics into poetry without making it seem overly-contrived.
One of my favorite books. Shapiro is just as good inOld War, but this book is so moving, so honest, and has the crisp, perfect feeling of a book that couldn't have a single word cut.