Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson

I’m reading one book of poetry each month this year!

For January, I read Polar by Dobby Gibson. For February, I’ll be reading Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder. You should read it too. For a list of all poetry books I’m reading this year, click here.

polarDobby Gibson is a local poet. I’ve seen him around Minneapolis, tweeted with him a little. He used to be my friend Alison’s boss! I’ve read two of Dobby’s other books (reviews here and here), and I loved them both.

I think Polar is his first book, and I found it less accessible than his later two. That said, I still very much enjoyed it. To me, this collection felt like a blender of Billy Collins and Annie Dillard, whose poetry is nothing like the other. Dobby was a comfortable middle ground between the deeply accessible and the brilliantly obscure.

“Two hands for undressing, / one mouth for lies, / a moment for every question / we save only for ourselves.” Love this.

Or how about this? “It’s luncheon-meat cold, and even winter rain / isn’t anything new, but it hurls itself / at us like a smashed chandelier.” Yes.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me was his vocabulary, which is clearly massive. For Gibson, it’s like an arsenal that has every weapon available, and he need only choose the best one for the situation.

He does. Over and over again.

Did you read Polar this month too? What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment. If you blogged about it, include a link!

I hope you’ll track down a copy of Stupid Hope for next month!


1 thought on “Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson

  1. I enjoyed it! I kept thinking of Billy Collins, too–both poets use such visceral, everyday language to express such deep contemplation. Their musings are grounded in reality and sensory details, which I appreciate–it makes it easier to digest the insights and relate them to my own realm of experience. Also, it delights me more than it should that his name is Dobby.
    Loved this pick–thank you!–and I’m excited for Stupid Hope 🙂

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