Bookstore » Praise

Praise for American Wake

About the Book
Is Thomas Rabbitt the Yeats of Alabama, the Lowell of Boston's middle class, the Richard Hugo of Ireland, the John Berryman of Tuscaloosa? Rabbitt's powerful and distinctive voice assimilates those poets (and many more) into his unique and dazzling songs, stories, meditations, and laments. American Wake is an important book and a body of work that any serious reader of poetry should know.
Thomas Rabbitt is a poet not nearly as well as well known as he ought to be in this day of boring and tiresome poetry in politics and vice versa. He has come up with a brilliant and clever way of looking at poetry, prosody, and the world in which we have to do our best to live, even if we don't. There are touches of John Berryman at his best in this book. Also, as there should be, of Wallace Stevens, Roethke, and of course, Yeats, ever increasing in stature.
Tom Rabbitt’s American Wake, a book freighted with a lifetime of intense living, is as beautifully crafted and polished as an expensive sloop; and as sharply and deftly etched as its complex path of emotional tacks. As with any major aesthetic achievement, it has in tow what has led it forward, a commitment to art that is nothing less than devotional.
Perhaps it has to be the poet’s first article of faith that ‘Nothing’s pointless under the spinning sun.’ Perhaps this faith is what makes the lines of Thomas Rabbit’s American Wake so seethingly a-buzz with life, with pungent insight, and with close focused feeling. This selection of his new and old is valuable in many ways, not least in reminding us how substantial is this fine poet’s achievement.