Goldfarb makes Dante's platonic love sensible—his use of the Muse indispensable. If "Muse" is in both "amuse" and "museum," the work passes muster with both. The reader, not necessarily the Muse, ends up falling in love with this poet—with his gentle nature, his genteel old-fashioned wrestling with desire & insistence on feelings having presence & body—without flesh. Goldfarb makes the reader into a poetry-sensitive nymphette.
—Andrei Codrescu, author of So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems
I Goldfarb celebrates an idealization of chaste love in K: A 21st Century Canzoniere, a sonnet storybook set on a contemporary campus where a beautiful student inspires an aging professor to fathom their relationship through devotional lyric. Written at the intersection between metaphysical spirit and psychological soul, K: A 21st Century Canzoniere tenderly lays on the line Goldfarb’s life-changing encounter with a student marvel radiant enough to morph into his Muse and as such to inspire 590 songs. Goldfarb’s model is, of course, The Canzoniere of the Italian poet Petrarch, who in the church of Saint Clare saw and fell in love with the young woman whom he called Laura. From Petrarch comes the lesson that a young woman’s image is the means for the poet to cultivate a transcendent perspective on his life and personality.
—Ken Warren, Author of Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch
K: A 21st Century Canzoniere presents a future for poetry while embracing its historical arrangements. The specificity and attention of the language provides us a collection of contemporary sonnets through a music which is neither clichéd nor portentous. Goldfarb silhouettes his chosen form with precision and sparkle, and accentuates the poetic dynamics through which the sonnet can further display the depths of possibility and imagination. This is a book of rare intensity.
— Geoffrey Gatza, author of APOLLO
The Canzoniere of I Goldfarb is inspired. From the outset, with this title, it stakes its claim to the continuity of the Petrarchan tradition. It is inscribed in the rivalry of poets. The sonnet does not hide this. The held breath at the two modes of appearance of the beloved, her perception in beauty and her "image" in absence, scarcely is it "at an end" at the conclusion of a sonnet or sestina than it catches its breath, takes off again in poetry, both enslaved and free, grateful and inventive, dependent and emancipated, debt-ridden and prodigal, 590 times; an exploit, a resource, a pace both regular and surprising: the surprise is handled in the "conventional" form, the first all the more powerful as the second is more "classical."
I admire in I Goldfarb this copiousness of density, this fecundity of the sonnet form, invented eight centuries ago, and still giving of itself.
— Michel Deguy, prominent French poet
Born in the Bronx in 1940 and educated in the East, I Goldfarb spent most of his long professional career on the West Coast in preparation for a second career as a writer. A number of poems from the Canzoniere have appeared in Kenneth Warren's House Organ, beginning with issue 78 (Spring 2012).
· Paperback: 424 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-139-9
K: A 21st Century Canzoniere by I Goldfarb
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