The Moon on Elba: Poems by Andrew Frisardi
Publication Date: May 10th, 2023
The title of Andrew Frisardi’s The Moon on Elba comes from one of its poems, a beautiful ghazal, striking in its graceful blend of form and intelligent feeling. The book’s opening poems include the Audenesque meditation “Word” and a character poem, “The Jeweler,” in which marvels are found, ironically, in the mundane. Frisardi writes of bedtime when we “undress-rehearse for death.” He offers a Covid poem in Sapphics and a lovely ballade for “That singing contradiction,” the late Timothy Murphy. A translator and critic as well as a poet, Frisardi writes of his life as an expat, “We don’t know what is going wrong, / To whom or where we now belong, / As we turn and toss and turn in sleep.” These poems are good company. They display a civil tongue and a quiet delight in language. I am very grateful to know them.
—David Mason, author of Pacific Light
Andrew Frisardi moved from Boston to central Italy to become a great Dante scholar and translator. These marvelous poems in The Moon on Elba are drenched in the beauty of his ancestral country and the spirituality of its greatest poet.
—A. M. Juster, author of Wonder and Wrath
Andrew Frisardi’s The Moon on Elba is a veritable archipelago of poems, a strand of gemstones. expressing the meaning of living a terrestrial—so often solitary—life of flesh and blood, feelings requited perhaps only by the moon, itself on its own insular journey. Yet, in Frisardi’s regular use of juxtaposing blindness and sight, and in the abundant color-words found in nearly every poem, there’s hope to be found in the light of understanding that we are indeed linked to people, memories, time, and place. And what are gems without light? Beams shine everywhere in this book, from stars, lamps, the sun, mirrors, and, of course, the inimitable and lyrical glow of moonlight, under which Frisardi primarily works.
Unmistakable is the motif of exile, created with images of Italian geographies, as well as reference to Dante’s One Man’s journey, and with the many allusions to the Old Testament (among them, Adam and Eve’s impending expulsion from the garden) and the New (including Mary’s lonely conception, delivery, and suffering). This all merges with superb concrete detail of both nature and art, particularly statuary, underscoring, ironically and compellingly, Frisardi’s connection to Italian history and culture.
And what a pleasurable experience to read poetry that beats, alliterates, and rhymes: In The Moon on Elba, Frisardi strikes, cleaves, and polishes lines of dazzling prosody.
—Brian Palmer, Editor of THINK: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction, and Essay
Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Retail Price: $13.00 (Paperback)