Todd Boss was twelve years old when the family piano was pitched from his father’s pickup truck. The poems in Pitch pick up the pieces, with variations on loss, homing, and the inner music of our lives.
Fans of Boss’s award-winning debut collection, Yellowrocket, will recognize the family farm and the nuances of marriage and children, but this new collection introduces angels, ghosts, and a portentous family dog, plus a host of music makers from the animal kingdom. These poems, “top-heavy with gravity and levity alike,” take place between worlds, between moves, between women–and always something is in danger of falling. By turns bright and dark like the keys on a keyboard, these poems demonstrate the range of one of contemporary poetry’s most musical poets.
There is a rich physicality in all of Todd Boss’s poems, a reverent gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life. His poems are about matter in motion — apple slices, Chopin, horses, light, and people. What makes Boss much more than a journalist is the great adroitness and physicality with which sound bounces around inside his language. The poems in Pitch are never pretentious but always acrobatic, sensuous, technically inventive, muscular, and fun. –Tony Hoagland