Is Music: Selected Poems
Author: John Taggart
Editor: Peter O'Leary
Foreward: C.D. Wright
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press (2010)
Is Music—a major retrospective of an American original—gathers the best poems from John Taggart’s fourteen volumes, ranging from early objectivist experiments and jazz-influenced improvisational pieces to longer, breathtaking compositions regarded as underground masterpieces. There is a prayerful quality to Taggart’s poetry, rooted in music—from medieval Christian traditions to soul to American punk rock. He is heavily influenced by the visual arts, most notably in his classic “Slow Song for Mark Rothko,” in which he does with words what transcendent painter Rothko did with paint and dye.
“John Taggart has long been a master of accumulating complexly layered patterns of sound and sense.”
“A fearsome intelligence wedded to a kind of craftsmanship that happens once or twice a generation.”