To Forget Venice

Paperback | October 29, 2014

byPeg Boyers

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To Forget Venice is the improbable challenge and the title of Peg Boyers’s newest collection of poems. The site of several unforgettable years of her adolescence, the place she has returned to more frequently than any other, the city of Venice is both adored and reviled by the speakers in this varied and unconventionally polyphonic work. The voices we hear in these poems belong not only to characters like the mother of Tadzio (think Death in Venice), or the companion of Vladimir Ilych Lenin, or the Victorian prophet John Ruskin and his wife, Effie, but also to wall moss, and sand, and—most especially—an authorial speaker who in 1965, at age thirteen, landed in Venice and never quite recovered from the formative experiences that shaped her there. Ranging over several stages of a life that features adolescent heartbreak and betrayal, marriage and children, friendship and loss, the book insistently addresses the author’s desire to get to the bottom of her obsession with a place that has imprinted itself so profoundly on her consciousness.

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To Forget Venice is the improbable challenge and the title of Peg Boyers’s newest collection of poems. The site of several unforgettable years of her adolescence, the place she has returned to more frequently than any other, the city of Venice is both adored and reviled by the speakers in this varied and unconventionally polyphonic wor...

Peg Boyers is a lecturer in the English Department at Skidmore College and the executive editor of Salmagundi. She is also on the poetry faculty of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her previous books include Hard Bread and Honey with Tobacco, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:86 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.4 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022618126X

ISBN - 13:9780226181264

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
 
ONE
 
Scirocco: Otello in Venice
The Ruskins in Venice
    1. John Ruskin Confronts the Female Nude (April 10, 1847)
    2. Effie Gray Ruskin Writes to Her Mother on Christmas Eve, 1850
Tadzio’s Mother
Mrs. Casanova
Titian’s Magdalena Speaks from Lazzaretto Nuovo, 1576
To Lenin from Venice
Wall Moss
 
TWO
 
Crossing
Arrivata
Rialto
Rooftop: Aerial View
Pact, 1968
Moon Walk
Canzoncino: Air for My Father
Urn
 
THREE
 
Ambition of Sand
At the Guggenheim Museum, Venice
Lido
Tramonto
At Sea
Callas in Venice
La Tempesta
Aubade
What I Meant To Say: In Memory of Michael Mazur, 1935–29
Dream of the Chalice
Fondamente Nove
The Jewish Cemetery, Lido
Brodsky at San Michele, 1996
To Forget Venice
 
Notes

Editorial Reviews

“To Forget Venice is a tour de force of ventriloquism. Elegant, contemporary, and wry, the voice at its center is also capable of disarming flights of imagination as it enters and inhabits other lives across time and gender. The glittering, fetid city emerges as a complex metaphor for the human heart’s simultaneous tenderness and capacity for cruelty, its ‘silver glow / a local specialty: filth / disguised as ornament.’ This Venice is unforgettable.”