The FUTURE PERFECT: A FUGUE (Paperback)

The FUTURE PERFECT: A FUGUE By Eric Pankey Cover Image
$17.95
Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days

Description


“I am stunned, delighted, and moved by the seamless merging of meaning and music that unfolds throughout The Future Perfect: A Fugue. Whether made up of one sentence or a dozen, each section of this long, single work stands on its own, as self-sufficient as a painting in a museum, while contributing to the whole masterful gathering. “This is an intricate work of decisive oscillation, of tender and careful attention shifting swiftly and precisely between the infinitesimal and the vast, and between one concrete reality and another, without ever losing its way: The house rages, but is not consumed. Ablaze, it stands as square and certain as a child’s drawing. In each window: flames instead of curtains. “Such sure-footed writing is astonishing. It would be an understatement to point out that the reader rarely encounters such piercing visionary states, with the author highly alert to sound and syllable, while focused on meaning: Is it disillusion or dissolution that one experiences first? “Throughout, the author probes our capacity for perception: what do we see (the present), remember (the past), and imagine (the future)? And how do we understand them? What elevates the writing even more is the unmistakable passion and urgency pulsing throughout each of the poem’s sections, the deliberate and inspired choice of every word.”

About the Author


Eric Pankey's poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such journals and anthologies as the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and Poetry Daily, as well as several anthologies, including Best American Poetry. A recipient of the Walt Whitman Award, Pankey has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merril Foundation. A 1983 graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, he is a professor of English and the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University and resides in Fairfax, Virginia.

Praise For…


“I am stunned, delighted, and moved by the seamless merging of meaning and music that unfolds throughout The Future Perfect: A Fugue. Whether made up of one sentence or a dozen, each section of this long, single work stands on its own, as self-sufficient as a painting in a museum, while contributing to the whole masterful gathering.

“This is an intricate work of decisive oscillation, of tender and careful attention shifting swiftly and precisely between the infinitesimal and the vast, and between one concrete reality and another, without ever losing its way:

The house rages, but is not consumed. Ablaze, it stands as square and certain as a child’s drawing. In each window: flames instead of curtains.

“Such sure-footed writing is astonishing. It would be an understatement to point out that the reader rarely encounters such piercing visionary states, with the author highly alert to sound and syllable, while focused on meaning:

Is it disillusion or dissolution that one experiences first?

“Throughout, the author probes our capacity for perception: what do we see (the present), remember (the past), and imagine (the future)? And how do we understand them? What elevates the writing even more is the unmistakable passion and urgency pulsing throughout each of the poem’s sections, the deliberate and inspired choice of every word.”

—from the Snowbound Award Citation by John Yau

“The short poems in The Future Perfect: A Fugue trace an ambitious journey ‘through the viscosity of time’ from an amorphous beginning of life to a prospective end, including the lives of an individual, a species, and even a planet: ‘the mountain, upheaved in an instant, erodes slowly’ and ‘From Europa’s cracked crust, icy plumes vent. Worlds, unlimited, come into being and perish.’ But it is the fine-tuned language of the in-between, its specificity and haunting familiarity, that most holds our attention and admiration:

What matters is the miscellany, the hodgepodge, the mishmash, unkempt days loosely stitched to the next, a hinge giving in to rust, to the slow passage of rust, or the mind at its usual unruly industry, as noisy as gravel in a zinc bucket.

“The scope of the collection is epic—dance is created, the Minotaur faces the maze, stone tools disappear, Thomas the Doubter touches the wound; and ultimately the future seems one of vanishing, both for the earth and for the individual: ‘the murmur of ink drying.’

“Everything is transitory; yet we watch the narrator visualize the here and now in bushes swamped in purple blossoms, a house on fire, an opaque sky, moons, pulses of rain, light in its many forms. Images appear and disappear, repeat and interweave as in a musical fugue, the impersonal voice questioning the simultaneity of what is happening, the unkempt past, memory itself. What is most moving for me is watching what the narrator calls the apparition of a body practicing presence. It is that hesitancy, that acknowledged effort— these poems.”

—Martha Ronk

“In The Future Perfect: A Fugue, Eric Pankey tells us ‘what matters is the miscellany,’ our ‘unkempt days loosely stitched to the next….’ Still, he’ll confess, ‘one could lose sleep making sense of the grab bag of all the this and the that.’ How can we not ‘project into the future,’ not ‘see the past as portent?’ he writes. ‘How does one avoid thinking about the void?’ One disquieting question follows upon another in this chapbook’s single polyphonic poem. In lieu of answers, Pankey offers us the pleasure of his ever-gorgeous music. From such a virtuoso, ‘these notes, these intervals’ are all we could ask for.”

—Allison Funk

“Comprehensive in reach and interwoven in structure, Eric Pankey’s The Future Perfect: A Fugue is an exploration of time and memory so attentive that time itself seems to be held in suspension as we read. From a slug on a stalk to the most subtle spiritual concerns, Pankey takes on the details of experience and the sweep of abstraction with equal grace. His meditations evoke, list, describe, investigate, sing, and more in a tour-de-force of all that prose poetry can do.”

—Don Bogen


Product Details
ISBN: 9781946482716
ISBN-10: 1946482714
Publisher: Tupelo Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2022
Pages: 44
Language: English