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the New York Quarterly



NYQ Books Presents The Puzzle Master and Other Poems by F. D. Reeve

09/01/2010
NYQ Books is very proud to present The Puzzle Master and Other Poems by F. D. Reeve. "As if they were a crowd of pilgrims/singing in the rain.../their music
rises from an earth/that will not stay in tune." So F. D. Reeve writes in
a poem entitled "Violets in a Pewter Vase." For nearly fifty years, he
has found in nature both a refuge from human imperfection and an
exquisite rejoinder to it. Whether that imperfection be the war in
Afghanistan, worsening economic inequality, or even the ridiculous
pretense of a thoroughly professionalized poetry, Reeve makes of
aesthetic perception a kind of subjunctive faith. For a moment one man's
skill offers the possibility of redemption, and the alternatives behind
experience bloom like those fragile violets in a pewter vase. With its
elegant short lyrics and long dramatic poem, which reworks the
Daedalus-Icarus myth by situating it on a Caribbean island and which
serves as the text for a jazz opera, The Puzzle Master breaks new
ground in the music of holistic response. In this his tenth collection,
the winner of the Golden Rose Award for lifetime achievement in poetry
offers a poetry adequate to our time.