In Traveling in Notions Michael J. Rosen creates a novel in poems, a questing contemplation, an alter ego Gordon Penn who holds to hopefulness amid circumstances that will have none of it. Penn is a widower, a soon-to-retire notions salesman, a Midwestern family man whom Rosen describes as akin to characters found in John Cheever's or John Updike's tales or to Italo Calvino's Marcovaldo. Each poem in the collection relates another episode in Penn's ongoing confrontation with contemporary society. Penn's "notions" are attempts at discovering some homeostasis, some sense of home, or, at least, some hope amid the static of a time-management consultant's radio broadcast, the months' accumulation of charitable letters, and the captivities of zoos, bodies, aging, and loneliness. His unorthodox contemplations extend beyond meditation toward mediation, toward some means by which a person might settle oneself in the unsettled circumstances that he or she can neither welcome nor wage against alone.
Series: James Dickey Contemporary Poetry Series
Number Of Pages: 122
Published: 1st November 1996
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 13.97
Weight (kg): 0.18