"Here is a poet's true evocation of time, of
the fact that we all are destined to live in the puzzling, enticing tragi-comedy of our cultural
and personal origins. David Roderick has imagined that destiny in a memorable new way."
- Robert Pinsky
"David Roderick's poems are exquisitely made with language that is
rich and precise. He convinces us that we are all pilgrims committing
our acts of courage as well as our little crimes. This book is
"These eloquent poems show, in line after line, how charged and
poignant is the intersection between history and memory. These are
poems of hidden lives, where the power of colony often yields to the
love of place. This is an outstanding debut collection."
"In Blue Colonial, David Roderick's astonishingly accomplished
collection of poems, Roderick continually 'roam[s] the periphery' in
search of something new. What he finds there by way of salvage,
excavation, renovation, and restoration is a 'new language to weigh
each item' of his recoveries. And what he demonstrates in a steady
and equable fashion is the over-arching lesson of art and life: 'the
harder something was, the better chance...of finding it.' I'm grateful
for what Roderick's roaming has produced, these poems that bring the
periphery of American history, collective and personal, into sharp,
material focus. In doing this Blue Colonial provides a fresh entrance
into the future of American poetry."
"Indeed, every thing included in these poems can be read as a sign-from the memento mori that is 'a wasp nest inside a skull,' to cordwood to rabbit pelts to beans. Even throwaway objects are imbued with significance; each carries a secret world of its own. The broader historical renderings, along with a fine attention to minute particulars, gives this book a quiet luminosity caught in the undertow of a eulogized past. If, as Roderick writes, 'We need a new language to weigh each item,' each object and fact of history, this book takes us a good deal of the way."
-Emily Rosko, The Missouri Review
"Blue Colonial gavottes between concerns of historical and personal heritage in an invigorating interplay of separate narratives... As the collection evolves, the speaker and his masked colonial surrogates ride a collision course, and the detachment provided by the tales of Plymouth Plantation allows the poet to resist romanticism while simultaneously lifting the veils that obscure and conceal."
-Michelle Lewis, The Gettysburg Review
"With a lyric yet reticent voice, Roderick's poems illuminate how poetry as well as history can turn 'a pile of junk' into 'a kind of faith.'"
-The Poetry Foundation
"Blue Colonial is a beautifully crafted collection... Roderick is extraordinarily adept at giving us sensory access to the past."
-Kelle Groom, The Florida Review
"The lives and thoughts of the Pilgrims seem remote from modern
culture, something relegated to Plimoth Plantation and reading The
Scarlet Letter in high school. David Roderick disputes that notion,
and in his book, Blue Colonial, he weaves together poems, both
historical and autobiographical to illustrate how past and present
intertwine and bear upon one another."
-The Old Colony Memorial