From the Contemporary Poetry Series #1
Kyger’s poetry is a daily, hourly, rumination/celebration of human existence, ritual, and physicality, of “how one thing happens after another, seasons, weather, feelings, friends.” Some Life exhibits Kyger’s keen observations, her biting wit and her diary-like method of composition, all while investigating the role of the poet as citizen, artist, and connector. As Ron Silliman asserts, “She’s one of our hidden treasures—the poet who really links the Beats, the Spicer Circle, the Bolinas Poets, the New York School, and the Language poets, and the only poet who can be said to do all of the above.”
Praise for Some Life
In her recent poems Joanne Kyger has been shouldering the call to give voice to the greatest extent her particular intonations will carry. This she does by letting loose a vocabulary both luxurious and exact. The sum is a life, to each part of which she directs discrete, vivid sensation, the day or heart-felt moment ceremoniously conceived.
— Bill Berkson
Sweetness of life, with the strange change (timor martis conturbat me)—fury at mortals (humans) stupidness / waste of the earth, lash out—but
one minute of
blue and sun then downpour—
lightness of touch, entering ‘old age’ / ‘further life’? Diarying.
What was that ‘rrr’ / ‘squawk’ on the back porch? Joanne Kyger’s exemplary usage, probably. Nondoubtedly! Intermittent with what’s sung here (‘fox-sparrow’), gone before!
And in the real quiet day, who loves what is, moves.
— Robert Grenier
In Some Life, we have the distilled, rigorous play of a particular and recognizable mind, an old friend, quite there… She is both teacher and student of her own mind and the world—a longtime interpolation through which these words, left like footprints on the page, both trace and produce moments of contemplation.
— Susan Noel, “Some Choice: Notes On Reading Joanne Kyger”