The Concerto Form
Shearman Books, 2006
"The poems in The Concerto Form are made of close harmonies and intimate elisions as taut as the strings of a violin; their muted, contracted sonorities seem to vibrate with a desire to find solace in the grammar of perception. If it is true that the world and its landscapes are "already written a thousand times over by our gaze" then Anthony Hawley reforms both gaze and landscape into an indelible music."
"In taut lines, tight phrasing, Anthony Hawley conducts a physical sounding of an acute reality and its music. In this way The Concerto Form speaks and sings and generously enlarges the known to include the deep tone and wondrous pitch of a world."
"With The Concerto Form, Anthony Hawley joins that international company of exploratory poets who celebrate at once the fugitive music and the mysteries of the tangible world. With great formal range, he addresses the here/not here, the vibrating strings of things as they are. "All in the eye's reach," as he declares. And the ear's."
"Anthony Hawley 'begins each tale practicing cartography, charting the narrative of tendrils.' The poems in this collection are above all adeptly heard, framing landscape and mindscape and the way each suffuses the other. Often invoking 'distance,' Hawley employs this distance as a musical strategy that frames and translates presence, slipping in—internal and intimate—by subtle degrees 'wind's/steady severance of spirit the way it/clutches then/unlocks a body.' The Concerto Form creates a refreshed phenomenology, blending melody and affective insight, demonstrating how to 'make a fossil/of your own writing with earth oil resin and solubles/wrung from the body's interior.'