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Dual : poems

ISBN: 9781946724670
Format: Paperback
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Origin: US
Release Date: December, 2023

Book Details

A poetry collection examining masculinity, aggression & violence. In his fourth poetry collection, Matthew Minicucci examines masculinity and gun violence as he brings to life the grammatical concept of the dual, a number that is neither singular nor plural. Though now lost in English, the concept is present in other languages both extant and ancient. The poems’ forms fittingly include the elegy, palinode, and contrapuntal, which is both a single poem and two poems intertwined. They align contemporary moments with key texts from Western literature, including ancient Greek epics, in a way that helps us reconsider the aggression of young men. “The world kills kind boys,” Minicucci writes, and “we bury the bodies inside men.” Minicucci recategorizes our idea of “West,” the Western canon, and the Old West and its bullets, comparing them to modern-day landscapes in Utah, Oregon, Washington, California, and Hawai’i. Whether memorializing a woodworking grandfather or poets Brigit Pegeen Kelly and James Longenbach, Dual notes that loss has a double vision. While weighty in their subjects, Dual’s poems make room for unexpected moments of lightness, such as when the speaker compares the complications of love to “reading the Iliad and realizing, sure, there’s anger, // but before that there’s just a lot of camping.” The book argues, in the end, that there is an unalienable dual between the observer and the observed, the self and the self as confessed to another.