Turnings: Poems of Philadelphia

This is Ernest Yates’s ninth volume of poems, and the sixth volume in an ongoing cycle based on his wanderings through the streets of Philadelphia. Yates’s turns through city streets recall the wilderness wanderings of Bashô in 17th-century Japan, and especially the wanderings of the rivers and mountains poets of the T’ang and pre-T’ang dynasties of China. Receptive to his terrain as they were to theirs, Yates relies on syncopated rhythms, fragmentation, and abrupt rhetorical turns to capture his responses to that terrain. A portrait of Philadelphia emerges―its diverse citizenry, streetscape, and history, as these are revealed in phenomena of the streets themselves.

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