The University of Wisconsin Press
Meditations on Rising and Falling
The Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor
Winner of the 2008 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, selected by David St. John
Winner, Award for Poetry and Literary Criticism,
The Writers' League of Texas
From tumult to catharsis, the poems in Philip Pardi’s first collection, Meditations on Rising and Falling, explore the emotional tug-of-war that is the human experience. Present at every turn are people searching for meaning and sense in an elusive world: a doorman who plans to punch the senator who never speaks to him, a son who discusses ornithology with his father’s dying friend, a roofer who copes with his past as he senses his imminent fall to the ground. While the poems are witness to the turmoil of both body and soul, they are not without hope. Pardi finds grace in noise, and happiness in the mourning doves, showing us that often, the reasons for disbelief become precisely the reasons for belief. Pardi’s collection is a testimony to faith and resistance in a world where “falling is the given.”
“Tonight, the uneven darkness is equal parts bold and apologetic. It’s the shabby moonlight epiphanies are made for, but I’m not due for an epiphany. I’m due for something lower in my body, something akin to the warming of hands by a mug of something hot.”
—excerpt from “God’s Shins”
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“A truly exceptional volume of poems. Wry, wise, and powerful, this work offers highly nuanced sketches and shrewdly observed scenes of profound human reckoning. With a child’s awe and an adult’s caution—and compassionate care—the speaker in these calm and elegantly philosophical poems wins our trust tim and time again. The measured, lyric ease of these poems is matched only by their superb tonal complexity and masterful, celebratory ease.”—David St. John, Brittingham Prize judge
“While Philip Pardi’s poems are lithe and imaginative, the real pleasure here is his willingness to dwell on an idea or feeling, to examine the familiar in a manner that is both gentle and startling.”—Bob Hicok, author of Animal Soul and The Legend of Light
Philip Pardi has published poems in Gettysburg Review, Seneca Review, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere, and his work has been reprinted in Best New Poets 2006 and Is This Forever or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas. A former Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, he now lives in the Catskill Mountains in New York and teaches at Bard College.
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LC: 2007039956 PS
104 pp. 6 x 9
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Updated May 11, 2011© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System