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So I Will Till the Ground
Gregory Djanikian

Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon
2007 • 88 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-462-9
$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-88748-474-2

A collection of poems by Gregory Djanikian.

Gregory Djanikian's So I Will Till the Ground, his fifth collection of poetry, confronts the horrors of the Armenian genocide of 1915, and the diaspora that ensued, sending survivors to all parts of the world. By turns sorrowful and redemptive, the poems go on to record the author's boyhood in Egypt, and his eventual emigration to the United States and into a wholly different dulture, and a life, however new, lived always under the haunting shadow of the 1915 cataclysm. "These are poems," Peter Balakian has written, that "chart . . . nothing less than a modern epic trajectory" whose narratives "move from the elegiac to the philosophical and to the heartfelt comedy of human love."

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Reviews / Endorsements

"In the marvelous title poem that concludes his book, Gregory Djanikian establishes himself as a gardener of the human spirit. He will work to replenish what was nearly entirely lost—Armenian culture and language, Armenian life itself—by first making use of the horrific as a kind of necessary mulch, then using the domestic as water and sun. And indeed his poems do go on to replenish, delineating his and his family's gradual assimilation into America, which leads to a wonderful variety of tones, including even the humorous. But, finally, this is Djanikian's book of history and of memory, no holds barred, his most urgent to date."—Stephen Dunn

"Here is reclamation, collective and personal, of an Armenian history in poems of remembrance, affection, tenderness, replenishment. In this moving collection, Gregory Djanikian does what Joseph Brodsky said the poet should do: begins in elegy and ends in praise."—Eleanor Wilner

"Gregory Djanikian's new poems chart a poetic topography that takes us from the killing fields of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, then to Egypt and then to the United States—nothing less than a modern epic trajectory. These are poems that move from the elegiac to the philosophical and to the heartfelt comedy of human love."—Peter Balakian

GREGORY DJANIKIAN was born in Alexandria, Egypt, of Armenian parentage and came to the United States when he was 8 years old. His four previous collections are The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance, and most recently, Years Later. He directs the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:07:16 -0500