Dancing, with Mirrors is George Amabile’s ‘lyrical retrospective’, a thoughtful fragmentation and re-arrangement of his personal history. These eleven ‘cantos’ tumble into and over each other in a rush of passion, memory, devastation, and quiet moments that promise renewal; here, Amabile’s talent for sounding the complex depths of everyday life shines like a beacon.
More than twenty years in the making, Dancing, With Mirrors is the result of George Amabile’s patient examination of his life. The light of careful attention, shining into his past, sends fragments of memory ricocheting into sensuous poems that arrange themselves, as if by magnetic attraction, into eleven remarkable cantos, each with a different focus, rhythm and texture. In this ‘lyrical retrospective’, decades are distilled into scattered moments: flashes of pain, sparks of affection, the smart of disappointment, small graces of the everyday.
Organized thematically into a roughly chronological narrative, these lyrical fragments make up George Amabile’s most intelligent and moving collection to date. Intense snapshots of life-defining moments, from his brother’s death to his relationship with a younger woman, are rendered with vivid immediacy, but also with a resonating aura that elicits questions which may never be answered by experience alone. These poems offer hard-won wisdom alongside a fierce commitment to life itself, capturing one man’s journey in exquisite imagery, an impressive variety of forms and a voice that is recognizably authentic in all its registers.