|index catalog chapbooks a.bacus ordering|
The Jukebox of Memnon
Precision and surprise and no nonessentials. Gists and piths.
These have characterized Ray DiPalma's poetry since I first met it in
Tottel's in the early 70's. Gnomic and aphorsitic, his work has
always been extremely compressed and frequently elliptical, but this book's
many complete, and often extended, statements frequently give it a syntactic
texture distinctive from that of such paratactic works as his Two Poems
(Awede, 1982). But as in all of his poetry, DiPalma's exacting ear is
manifested in his right-on-the- button sound. The Jukebox of Memnon
is the product of a powerful poetic intelligence. Who comes to mind when
I read DiPalma? Not only Oppen and Zukofsky but (surprise!) that much
too neglected Laura Riding. What stands out above all? Clarity.