This book offers a generous selection of Pankey’s previous seven collections as well a book-length group of new poems. For Pankey, language is a means of divination, of augury, of reading the world through the refracted past, the ephemeral present, and the mutable future. His meditative poems are deeply philosophical; their subject is the world of things. In this book, he explores the world by way of the body—the body as a marker of time, the body as a vessel of grief, the body as an ecstatic radiant filament. Like an alchemist, Pankey takes the elemental and transmutes it into mythic.
“Serious, even solemn, in his meditations on appearance and reality, dejection, consolation, selfhood, and grief, Pankey’s seven earlier books won the sustained respect of sophisticated readers. This first retrospective volume shows both the consistency of his self-scrutinizing tone and the ways in which, for him, a change of line and form changed everything.” —Publishers Weekly
“Fans of an earlier generation of American poets, such as Elizabeth Bishop, A.R. Ammons and Robert Bly, will find much to enjoy in this large volume of poetry that showcases an acute poetic prowess, capturing a range of heartfelt emotions and experiences… For Pankey, each new dawn presents a multitude of poetic possibilities, and he incorporates both the ugly and the beautiful, pain and pleasure in his aesthetic vision.” —New Pages
“Allows readers to observe the nuances of style and thematic continuities within this author’s complex body of work… The poems within The Pear as One Example invoke barren landscapes and unremarkable objects, rendering them a gem-like concentration of subjective concepts, which shine with ‘arctic, oblique light’ throughout.” —Smartish Pace