Forbidden City by Gail MazurForbidden City by Gail Mazur

Forbidden City

byGail Mazur

Paperback | March 31, 2016

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from “Mount Fuji”

A draughtsman’s draughtsman, Hokusai at 70
thought he’d begun to grasp the structures
 
of birds and beasts, insects and fish, of the way
plants grow, hoped that by 90 he’d have
penetrated to their essential nature.
 
And more, by 100, I will have reached the stage
where every dot, every mark I make will be
alive. You always loved that resolve, you’d repeat
 
joyfully—Hokusai’s utterance of faith
in work’s possibilities, its reward, that,
at 130, he’d perhaps have learned to draw.
 
Gail Mazur’s poems in Forbidden City  build an engaging meditative structure upon the elements of mortality and art, eloquently contemplating the relationship of art and life—and the dynamic possibilities of each in combination. At the collection’s heart is the poet’s long marriage to the artist Michael Mazur (1935–2009). A fascinating range of tone infuses the book—grieving, but clear-eyed rather than lugubrious, sometimes whimsical, even comical, and often exuberant. The note of pleasure, as in an old tradition enriched by transience, runs through the work, even in the final poem, “Grief,” where “our ravenous hold on the world” is a powerful central element.
Gail Mazur is the author of seven books of poems, including They Can’t Take That Away from Me, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Zeppo’s First Wife, a Massachusetts Book Award winner and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is distinguished writer in residence at Emerson College.
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Title:Forbidden CityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:72 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.47 inPublished:March 31, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022634956X

ISBN - 13:9780226349565

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

One
Forbidden City
Mount Fuji
Late at Night                                                                            
My Studio
Believe That Even in My Deliberateness I Was Not Deliberate
Sintra
Inventory
At Dusk, in the Yard
We Swam to an Island of Bees
Ou Sont Les Neiges D’Antan

Two
Philip Guston
On Jane Cooper’s “The Green Notebook”
Shade

Three
Instance of Me
Doorknobs
Things
Genealogy
Art History
The 70s
Age
Living Treasure
Unveiling
Family Crucible
Perennial

Four
Night
Minnesota
Ur-Dream
Elephant Memory
To the Charles River
Amarin
July Saturday Night
The Self in Search of the Sublime
The Bay
Morning Letter
Grief

Notes

Editorial Reviews

“With courageous disinterestedness, Mazur turns private particulars into universal images with a light poetic touch. We feel what she feels in the most ordinary objects and images that shine as human touchstones for our common longings and laments."