Post Your Opinion
by Brian Fawcett

Pier Giorgio di Cicco's Virgin Science it an ambitious, literate, and wen written volume of verse. It has everything that Canada's small fund of serious verse readers ask for - wit, erudition, and polished language. More than that, this book isn't just the usual downloading of a full curriculum vitae. Virgin Science is obviously the record of a profound spiritual rite of passage.
The first section of book, subtitled "Dying to Myself," is a kind of superspeed shepherd's calendar, in which Di Cicco demonstrates that he's been around the block and is dissatisfied with what it provides him with. The balance of the volume is a theological evaluation of the impact that the discoveries of modern science have had on human consciousness.
Sounds interesting, doesn't it? The trouble is that the rite of passage being recorded is obscure. Di Cicco's evaluation is so personal and idiosyncratic that it is in code, and he's so self-absorbed with his quest that he doesn't provide tire ciphers that might allow the reader to penetrate the code.
The result is that Di Cicco uses both science and poetry merely as a platform for a declaration of revised selfhood. In the end he lands in the most conventional the opolitical conundrum imaginable: arguing that the fundamental property of the universe is mental rather than material. That isn't an argument that is going to be solved scientifically or poetically, certainly not in the public arena. It can only be solved privately.
The edifice that Di Cicco builds for himself doesn't have room for anyone but himself, and one wonders why he published Virgin Science. Ironically, his technical tour deforce leads him to stand outside the discourse of science and poetry. And that is a shame.

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