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Invisible Bride: Poems [Hardcover]

Tony Tost
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Clouds on a Summer Day June 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There is a winning gentleness and humanity to the "voice" in most of the poems in this book (so two stars instead of one), but they too often cross the line into a very soft-hearted and headed kind of pop-song sentimentality. I've seen this in many books by inexperienced younger poets these days--the assumption of a kind of deliberate naivety that allows one to appear to live in a state of constant amazement, to drift--sometimes meaningfully, sometimes not--between images, ideas and statements without really latching onto and developing anything. The method is largely random, and when something interesting is said it usually occurs from pure luck. For me, this book doesn't really stand out from the numerous other post-New York school collections by a myriad of others. The previous reviewer who called the poem's borders "cloudlike" is right on--but there's really nothing difficult or ultimately interesting about drifting around in a haze. I see little precision, discipline or intellectual force backing up these amorphously constructed parcels of prose--they're as sweet and unthreatening as cotton candy. But on a brighter note, I did like the humanity of the voice and would read another book by this author--with the hope that the "borders" might become a bit more defined and the poems more rigorously constructed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Judge's Citation April 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Invisible Bride is a strange and penetrating book. Questing and questioning, full of wonder and doubt, it draws you in and down. There is no settling, but a constant distance that beckons; once reached you could settle--if only to find "one more good place to enjoy a meal, to have someone tell [you] a story." The action takes place somewhere between the river and the airport. The characters take shape, somewhere between the archetype and the unremarkable. They are phantasmata who are simultaneously our contemporaries, our familiars. Boundaries are difficult to pinpoint for they are cloudlike. This is a journey the reader is compelled to take, along with the boys of the poem who "carried rocks back and forth in the frost, then came home and made some sleep." The overall sensation is of being left heavy and weightless. This is not a common condition.
Invisible Bride is a record of what is not remembered and what may have never happened. Composed of six linking chapters, poems are set into them, none of which are in line except as an unscored melody. The enigmatic speaker informs us that he is "making a river to build a bridge across." He is the issue of any age, of unknown origin, "a descendent of birds"; also "unapologetically ill and in [his] early eighties." Also the survivor of "a twin [who] died at birth. The clouds weighed ten ounces." He owns a blind dog. He camps in the woods with Agnes, a philosophical force who waits tables at the airport and "explains [his] reason for being." Agnes leaves him. She had to go.
And though the work is highly referential (including an odd collection of known names, Bob Dylan, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bette Davis, Ted Williams, et al.), an essential part of it remains folded from view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Invisible Bride March 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I think this is a wonderful book of poems. I hope to see more of his writings in print.I feel he did a great job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escaping the Tree Aug. 12 2004
By Albright Katz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Martin Heidegger writes of the poet as being able to provide for humans a picture of what Being is by making language speak the unspoken. Invisible Bride, in all it's muted exhiliration of a voice(s) both human and majestic embedded in the palpable reaches of language does just that: it shows that somehow we are stuck inside a tree trunk with arms flailing trying to describe what exists outside; the outside being the world we inhabit, but never grasp. Only a poet could do this and Tost has shown his acumen of humanity superbly by speaking the unspoken. Tost has fashioned a bridle around language in which to champion the gross richness that chooses to hide instead of reveal. He leads the reader to darkened roads and, on occasion, refreshing streams in search of what possibly exists out there. What he finds there moves both inside and out: a blind man, children, irate mothers, a twin...etc. Coaxing the reader to tear the bark and revel in the glaring particularity of what the world is, a world once concealed is given new life. Tost has brought back the gems of this world to share and remind us that there is more than one way to escape the tree in order to see for ourselves what we are missing.
12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clouds on a Summer Day June 15 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is a winning gentleness and humanity to the "voice" in most of the poems in this book (so two stars instead of one), but they too often cross the line into a very soft-hearted and headed kind of pop-song sentimentality. I've seen this in many books by inexperienced younger poets these days--the assumption of a kind of deliberate naivety that allows one to appear to live in a state of constant amazement, to drift--sometimes meaningfully, sometimes not--between images, ideas and statements without really latching onto and developing anything. The method is largely random, and when something interesting is said it usually occurs from pure luck. For me, this book doesn't really stand out from the numerous other post-New York school collections by a myriad of others. The previous reviewer who called the poem's borders "cloudlike" is right on--but there's really nothing difficult or ultimately interesting about drifting around in a haze. I see little precision, discipline or intellectual force backing up these amorphously constructed parcels of prose--they're as sweet and unthreatening as cotton candy. But on a brighter note, I did like the humanity of the voice and would read another book by this author--with the hope that the "borders" might become a bit more defined and the poems more rigorously constructed.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars But for one poem April 26 2010
By DabblerArts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What happens to an award-winning book? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode? In this case it probably simply evaporates. I agree with the reviewer who says that writing is just too diffuse and vague. There are moments of brilliance, but they're fleeting, like sparks in a vapor. I've enjoyed reading it, however, because as far as this kind of stuff goes - and in the final saying, it doesn't go very far at all - it's actually not all that bad.

It seems to me that our poets work hard to write poetry in the abstract sense - and prose chunks are a great vehicle for this - and this book doesn't even have a table of contents (What, contents? How passe!) - but few bother to write memorable poems, of a definite shape, with a beginning, middle and end. There is one very, very good poem in this book, which is the only reason it has stuck in my mind, and that I have sought it out again at the public library. I can't quote it in full, and it doesn't survive in parts, but it's called "Swan of Local Colors," and it's on p.33. If you could, do look for it, rescue it, for a moment, from the stacks' oblivion.

Now if only I could convince some of our smarter young poets to return to writing poems!
2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invisible Bride March 18 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I think this is a wonderful book of poems. I hope to see more of his writings in print.I feel he did a great job.
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