Elizabeth Savage / Grammar
5.5 x 8 / 64 pages / $12.99
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Grammar is a marvelous investigation of the relational quality of words, the ways we inhabit them and they us. What emerges in these poems is a celebration of the unruly and insubordinate realm of the human. We live among the pauses of these “known unknowns,” anchored in the physical yet mysterious to the core.
—Elizabeth Willis, Author of Address
In her eloquent evocation of grammar, Elizabeth Savage tells us that “The elements won’t recognize / person, place, or thing …only movements of the same.” And so the very structure of communication proves pliable, responsive, overflowing with both history and heart. At the beginning of this gorgeous book, Savage warns us that “there is no ‘I’ in grammar,” but the feat of her writing is to show us that “where there is urgency / there will be utterance.” Language stands at the ready, our “provocative partner” in whose vehicle “I may step / imperatively / into you.” Amid the false starts and scattered belief that pulse at the core of our relation to words, Grammar deploys considerable sass and jazz while also opening to a vulnerability that displaces function with a more compassing dynamic. Here, language sweeps us up, until we “swing from force / to formlessness” in radiant attention.
—Elizabeth Robinson, Author of Three Novels
While we may all be prisoners of a grammar we did not invent, I know of no more inventive jailbreak than Elizabeth Savage’s Grammar. Smart, surprising, and even sexy (you’ll never look at copulative verbs the same way again), these lyrically insightful poems prove that grammatical structures are not limiting but liberating. In Savage’s handbook of use and misuse, we revel in the magic of misplaced modifiers, the passion of parenthesis, the joy of gerunds, and the excellence of expletives.
—Dean Rader, Author of Works & Days, Winner 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize