No Matter
An urgent, visionary collection of poems from the author of The After Party Jana Prikryl's No Matter argues for the necessity of vision in a time of darkness. Set in cities toppling past the point of decline-and-fall--Rome, London, Dublin, and most of all New York--these poems capture the experience of being human in the late days of empire, when the laws protecting weak from strong are being torn away. Ranging from free verse through sonnets and invented forms, Prikryl's poems insist that every demolition also builds something new and unforeseen.In poems whose one-word titles give the book a percussive rhythm, Prikryl gives voice to the shifting anxieties and fortitude of the powerless. An ancient Sibyl is the presiding spirit, tired of being the conscience of a people addicted to ancient codes of domination. Dido gets the last word on the male lust for conquest. The American tradition of self-reliance shrivels into the narcissism of the survivalist. Scraps of Moby-Dick, Coriolanus, Virginia Woolf, and Heraclitus drift through the poems like ghosts. New York City is taken hostage by the super-rich, and a scramble for resources infects each relationship. Yet the city's glamour and importance can't be denied: there are love poems for friends, for David Bowie, for all kinds of new arrivals who make every city worth saving. In reactionary times, these poems say, we all have a responsibility to use our imagination. No Matter is an elegy for our ongoing moment, when what seemed permanent suddenly appears to be on the brink of collapse.

No Matter Details

TitleNo Matter
Author
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherTim Duggan Books
ISBN-139781984825117
Rating
GenrePoetry

No Matter Review

  • Peycho Kanev
    January 1, 1970
    EpicYour friends of friends in the cityseduce each other in the strong lightof their ambition by reading longchapters of long books to each othernot seeing, in bed with this poemthat two chapters want repetitionas though by the guy who made Rome:You go Book I, II, III then II, III, IVbecause the second night of his visitDido begged a redo and he did italthough if he glimpsed a new facet orfelt shattered to relive it, or bored—her reaction tells us he said itjust as he’d said it the night before.
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  • Joseph Spuckler
    January 1, 1970
    “Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and falls again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet.” ― Virginia Woolf, The WavesNo Matter by Jana Prikryl is the poet's second full-length collection of poetry. Prikryl earned her BA from the University of Toronto and her MA from New York University. Her poetry and criticism have been published in a variety of publications and journals. Currently, she is a seni “Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and falls again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet.” ― Virginia Woolf, The WavesNo Matter by Jana Prikryl is the poet's second full-length collection of poetry. Prikryl earned her BA from the University of Toronto and her MA from New York University. Her poetry and criticism have been published in a variety of publications and journals. Currently, she is a senior editor at the New York Review of Books.Prikryl combines the new and the old. Rich history meets with contemporary reason and artifacts. Sibyl claims she is no messenger but speaks cryptically in the poems.  Historically, how much different would things have been for Dido if she could have followed Aeneas' social media accounts when he left for Sicily.Aeneas left by sea, and throughout the collection, the sea or the effects of the sea display themselves in many forms. The poems mention green oxygen, patina, Ishmel, and verdigris as visual indicators. The feeling of the sea is present in the repetition of the poem titles; reinforced by the poems titled "Waves." Repetition also exists in the repeating of phrases and clever wording that creates soft redundancy.There is almost a Woolfish feeling to the poetry that goes beyond waves and whitecaps. There is the tide and the in and out movements that create the cyclic image of waves. Cities alluded to by landmarks rather than names are all places with rivers and tides. In the flow and rhythm of No Matter, the poet leaves small obstacles that challenge one's smooth sailing. Uncommon words represent hazards on a nautical chart that need addressing before passing, an unexpected break in the flow.No Matter presents an enjoyable poetry experience that tends to a more traditional form and feeling — the words and repetition play on the reader's mind. No Matter may have a connection to the poetry beyond its more common connotation of unimportant. It may mean the absence of matter -- nothingness:“I see nothing. We may sink and settle on the waves. The sea will drum in my ears. The white petals will be darkened with sea water. They will float for a moment and then sink. Rolling over the waves will shoulder me under. Everything falls in a tremendous shower, dissolving me.” Virginia Woolf, The Waves.Unfortunately, not available until July 23, 2019
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Not my cup of tea. I could appreciate some of Prikryl's clever language and there were a few poems that seemed to have some life to them, but overall I just found these boring and generally "trying too hard."*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Abby
    January 1, 1970
    I started reading No Matter by Jana Prikryl not knowing at all what to expect. What I did not want was more poetry of heartbreak. I wanted poetry that worked with language not only to connect with the reader, but also to absolutely confuse them. Jana Prikryl does just this, and I cannot be more grateful for such a master of language. I had picked this book of poetry from a selection of titles on NetGalley because of its description on the website: “Set in cities toppling past the point of declin I started reading No Matter by Jana Prikryl not knowing at all what to expect. What I did not want was more poetry of heartbreak. I wanted poetry that worked with language not only to connect with the reader, but also to absolutely confuse them. Jana Prikryl does just this, and I cannot be more grateful for such a master of language. I had picked this book of poetry from a selection of titles on NetGalley because of its description on the website: “Set in cities toppling past the point of decline-and-fall--Rome, London, Dublin, and most of all New York--these poems capture the experience of being human in the late days of empire, when the laws protecting weak from strong are being torn away.” As a classicist studying ancient Roman literature and myth, this seemed right up my alley. It is true that most of these poems are set in New York - and I probably would understand them better if I knew more about New York culture and geography - but many of the poems are set against language that evokes ancient myth and history. The physical descriptions of the city also use language that hints at archaism, especially the use of “brownstone” to describe the bridges and buildings. The theme of most of Prikryl’s poems reminds me of The Aeneid, my particular area of study - ergo my interpretation of these poems focuses mostly on that. Prikryl compares New York to Troy in her poem “Ambitious”, telling how heroes pass through and make the city his own and that of his own people (an allusion to Aeneas’ journey from Troy to Italy). Prikryl also features well-known characters from this epic. The character that shows up in the titles of many of the poems is the Sibyl, an oracle who helped Aeneas on his journey into the Underworld. Here she is presiding over what seems to be the change of cities and the people described in these poems. In the second-to-last poem, also called “Sibyl”, there is imagery that alludes to things, especially plants, that grow in the Underworld. Dido is another character from the Aeneid who is featured in this book, exactly twice. With her we see what could’ve happened between Aeneas and Dido if he had to redo his actions. The fact that Prikryl uses the Sibyl more than Dido as a featured voice is really interesting; it is possible that if Dido were the main voice there would be more reference to love rather than the change the Sibyl represents as the liminal figure between the Underworld and the world of the living. A symbol of change. The way Prikryl uses language in these poems, besides the language that reference The Aeneid, is astounding. The manner in which she constructs her verses really draws the eye to what’s important. The way I feel reading it is how I imagine my own thoughts would look if they were written down on paper. My biggest issue was understanding a lot of the poems, though I would say that is the way it is with most poetry. It is personal, and not every poem is meant for everyone (and, as I said before, I am sure New Yorkers would have a much easier time understanding). However, even if we don’t understand, I wholeheartedly recommend giving Prikryl’s verse a chance, even if just to enjoy the clever mastery of language and ancient allusions.
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  • K B
    January 1, 1970
    this collection was really impressive. it’s like a landscape where the medium is poetry. prikryl did a fantastic job of capturing urban environments, especially in the “waves” poems. not just the physicality of it, but the way people are here. her “anonymous” poems describing people were some of my favorites, as well. the circular nature of the collection’s structure was really effective in highlighting her keen observations. my copy had some confusing wording, but that might just be because I d this collection was really impressive. it’s like a landscape where the medium is poetry. prikryl did a fantastic job of capturing urban environments, especially in the “waves” poems. not just the physicality of it, but the way people are here. her “anonymous” poems describing people were some of my favorites, as well. the circular nature of the collection’s structure was really effective in highlighting her keen observations. my copy had some confusing wording, but that might just be because I didn’t have the final version. this author’s poetic style is very modern and gripping. I enjoyed reading this book. thanks to netgalley, crown publishing, and tim duggan books for providing me with this ARC.
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  • Madeline Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    Quality of Writing: 9/10Pace: 10/10Plot Development: N/ACharacters: N/AEnjoyability: 10/10Insightfulness: 5/10Ease of Reading: 3/10Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐This is my first review for NetGalley. Poetry is an art form that many people don't understand. Here's my opinion: poetry is a celebration of language, and does not need to be understood in order to be appreciated. Only about one eighth of the poems were dissectible into clear meanings, but they were still beautifully written. There were some that Quality of Writing: 9/10Pace: 10/10Plot Development: N/ACharacters: N/AEnjoyability: 10/10Insightfulness: 5/10Ease of Reading: 3/10Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️This is my first review for NetGalley. Poetry is an art form that many people don't understand. Here's my opinion: poetry is a celebration of language, and does not need to be understood in order to be appreciated. Only about one eighth of the poems were dissectible into clear meanings, but they were still beautifully written. There were some that I loved in particular, that called out to my inner poet.Altogether, a wonderful collection, but not for someone just getting into poetry.
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  • Emily Blachly
    January 1, 1970
    I am not an avid poetry reader, so this was just too abstract for me and I struggled to find meaning in the poems. I struggled with reviewing this book because poetry speaks to different people in different ways. Ultimately, though, it wasn't my cup of tea.Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy poetry in its many creative forms of expression. Some is easily read, some takes some work to understand, and some just give me a headache! Unfortunately, for me, this collection falls in the last category I mentioned.Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to read an ARC of this collection in exchange for an unbiased review. Opinions stated here are my own.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this I shared the experience of the poet:Gotoff a stop early but no harm,A pleasant walk. This is a different place.The fragmentary observations and poignant visions in this book carried me to "the shores of speculation" (p. 15), but the riddles and shards ultimately lacked emotional power
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  • Marci
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of No Matter by Jana Prikryl from First to read in exchange for an honest review. I can't really give an opinion on this book because I did not realize that it was a book of poetry when I signed up for it. I am really not that into poetry. I did not understand the book and found it depressing. But that is just me, no reflection on the author.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Not accessible or meaningful to a casual reader of poetry. And not exciting or challenging enough to want to know more.My thanks to First to Read for a ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Kaleigh
    January 1, 1970
    did not take me
  • C.M. Crockford
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewing for Shelf Awareness
  • Ashtyn
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, I don't have words after this book. I connected with this book in a different way than I ever have and some parts brought so much emotion. I loved it so much! 5/5 stars because I'm speechless!
  • J.D. DeHart
    January 1, 1970
    There is a lot to love about No Matter. Jana Prikryl shares intimate and intricate verses. I love how sometimes the titles lead in as the first lines and how not all of the poems look and feel the same. There is freedom in these poems, as well as description and imagery.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    I just could not get into this book of poetry. It was almost too oblique, and I found myself searching for meaning. There were a few poems that I could relate to, but for the most part, it just was not my cup of tea. I could appreciate some of Prikryl's clever language and there were a few poems that made sense to me, but overall I just found many to be trying too hard. Poetry is hard to review. What appeals to one person has no appeal to the next. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks t I just could not get into this book of poetry. It was almost too oblique, and I found myself searching for meaning. There were a few poems that I could relate to, but for the most part, it just was not my cup of tea. I could appreciate some of Prikryl's clever language and there were a few poems that made sense to me, but overall I just found many to be trying too hard. Poetry is hard to review. What appeals to one person has no appeal to the next. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher, Crown/Penguin.
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