Just Whistle: a valentine



With her opening words, Wright ( String Light ) introduces ``the body, alive, not dead but dormant.'' A few lines later, the body is asked to take off its panties. This sensual image of the would-be naked female pervades the volume, as the poet deftly uses repetition and slight variation to keep readers attentive to what might otherwise be a difficult book to follow.

— Publisher’s Weekly

[Just Whistle: a valentine’s] prose paragraphs, lists, short individual lyrics, and canny repetitions all employ a core vocabulary around which the book builds a diction singular to itself. This would in time become Wright’s signature strategy …

— Brian Teare

Along the way I discovered, beginning with Just Whistle: a valentine, that repetition is a very flexible convention. It has obvious sonic value. It shifts, emphasizes, accretes, augments, alters meaning. Repetition has a built-in momentum and thus can be used to establish or at least insinuate cadence. Very pleasurable.

— C.D. Wright


Darren Angle