Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A taste of Robert Dassanowsky

The New York born poet Robert Dassanowsky is a co-editor of Poetry Salzburg Review (visit via P-i-R's link at left). Dassanowsky's poetry collection 'Telegrams from the Metropole - Selected Poems 1980-1998' was first published by Poetry Salzburg in 1999. Details of this and many other Poetry Salzburg publications can be found on the interesting Poetry Salzburg website. Incidentally, George Szirtes a recent contributor to Poet-in-Residence and a winner of the T S Eliot Prize for his collection 'Reel' has a new poem in the Spring 2008 edition of Poetry Salzburg Review, due out shortly. The Szirtes website is also worth periodic visits as the home page features what Poet-in-Residence has dubbed 'George's poem of the week'. Visit via P-i-R's link. But back to Dassanowsky; the following poem comes from his 'Telegrams from the Metropole - Selected Poems 1980-1998'. It is published here with his kind permission; and it is 'well worth reading and digesting', to quote one of P-i-R's old Eng.Lit teachers.


Heed the nuances of ferment
the sweet and sour
of spirited flesh
the alternative coffees
of tolerance
this is poetry gentle people
the crab apple of knowledge
the spreads of Apollo
the herring salad of culture

Taste a sliver at first
pull a wafer
from the columns of the temple
eat it fast or overchew
we can't save it
it spoils quickly, the flies
gather too soon

Taste the rice cakes of thought
taste the puffs of correct health
taste it on behalf
of the hungry
finding their truth
in the scrapings of tossed paper plates
and the moldy tomatoes of angst.

c)- Robert Dassanowsky (1999)


  1. aside from his cool poetry i really would like a taste...;-)

  2. Amazing piece. Why show just one poem if he is a P-i-R? How about a larger sampling!

  3. Cara S. The answer is that I sought his permission to publish only this one from his collection Telegrams from the Metropole Selected Poems 1980 - 1998 pub. Poetry Salzburg ISBN 3-901993-02-9 (pub. 1999) the blurb of which says "His . . . . poetry . . . . appeared internationally in many journals and anthologies . . . he . . . . .served as founding president of Colorado PEN . . . ." might be a good place to try and find a copy of "Telegrams. . ." if it is still available.
    Poet-in-Residence is the name of my website/blog and does not imply that any featured poets are 'in residence' here but that I am 'in residence' in the wider world as it were. I shall clarify that on my title page as it a valid point you make.
    Best bardic wishes,
    Gwilym Williams


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