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Ray DiPalma
The Jukebox of Memnon

106 pages
ISBN 0-937013-24-2


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.
--Jackson Mac Low

At a controlled distance from a papery world Ray DiPalma constructs dense material thought. Words push against thought patterns and that shape they turn to you. It's a universe of marvelous tough slopes and gestures with abetted passions.
--Alan Davies