The Lost Boys

Poems by Daniel Groves


“Sometimes I amuse myself by trying to characterize Daniel Groves’s poems. If Samuel Beckett wanted to write like Alexander Pope, but with the tiniest dash of Odgen Nash . . . If Byron had a child with Jorge Luis Borges, and that child had studied with both James Merrill and Groucho Marx . . . I give up. Daniel Groves is a poet like no one else. He’s one of the most inventive rhymers since Byron, but rhyme is merely one thing he does superlatively. What about those complex, self-interrogating sentences, rich with word play, puns, and puns inside puns—all to purposes as serious as art itself—and life? The Lost Boys is a book any reader of contemporary poetry will have to contend with from now on.”
—Andrew Hudgins, author of American Rendering: New and Selected Poems

“Could Dan Groves be the poetic love child of Heather McHugh and James Merrill? McHugh’s unstoppable puns and wordplay, enriched by Merrill’s bejeweled playfulness and tonal complexities, have inspired this wonderful poetic debut. However cerebral and flamboyantly learned he may be, this Groves is not of Academe but his own man. He has created a new poetic terrain with bravura wit. And he has made his unique music out of mouth-filling, eye-popping, and ear-ringing phrases.”
—Willard Spiegleman, author of Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness

More / Hide


Daniel Groves presents a debut collection of tightly rhymed poems that, through adherence to form, unlock a power in language to surprise and illuminate—a power too often dormant in writing that eschews these conventions. Enchanted by the wit and distance of his canonical predecessors, Groves rhymes “Diet Pepsi” with “catalepsy” and “Guido” with “credo,” and takes this work from irony to introspection in the course of a few lines.

Framed as meditations that playfully depart from acts of photocopying, or shelving journals in a library, or interstate travel by bus, these poems represent an acerbic inner life but offer visceral satisfactions.

From “Work Song”
The hymns lay off the common man,
though his appraisal’s sung
when roll come softly calling on
the pink slip of the tongue.
The timecards by the foreman’s clock
are punched in, then about
an inch of empty space is free
before we get punched out.
The VQR Poetry Series

Page count: 72 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

Daniel Groves’s poems have appeared in such publications as the Paris Review, Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, Drunken Boat, and Smartish Pace. He lives in Rhode Island.