Harry Gilonis

The poet as symbiont

A review of Harry Gilonis's 'Rough Breathing: Selected Poems'

Image of 'Rough Breathing' cover and photo of Harry Gilonis.
Photo of Harry Gilonis courtesy of Carcanet Press.

Reading Rough Breathing, one is quickly struck by the extent to which Harry Gilonis’s poetic praxis is imbricated with antecedent poets and forms. Titles such as “Some Horatian Ingredients,” “Reading Hölderlin on Orkney,” and “Georg Trakl fails to write a Christmas poem” locate the poetry’s provenance in the praxis of reading (or experiencing by different means) the work of others. Gilonis also frequently favors already existing forms — sonnet, haiku, renga, ghazal, acrostic, to name just a handful.

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