cover of book
 

From the Book of Giants
by Joshua Weiner
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-226-89045-6 | eISBN: 978-0-226-89051-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-89046-3
Library of Congress Classification PS3573.E3937F76 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Song

 

                        for Thom Gunn

There is no east or west

in the wood you fear and seek,

stumbling past a gate of moss

and what you would not take.

And what you thought you had

(the Here that is no rest)

you make from it an aid

to form no east, no west.

No east.  No west.  No need

for given map or bell,

vehicle, screen, or speed.

Forget the house, forget the hill.

Taking its title from a set of writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, From the Book of Giants retunes the signal broadcast from these ancient fragments, transmitting a new sound in the shape of a Roman drain cover, in imitations of Dante and Martial, in the voice of a cricket and the hard-boiled American photographer Weegee, in elegies both public and personal, and in poems that range from the social speech of letters to the gnomic language of riddles. Out of poetry’s “complex of complaint and praise,” Joshua Weiner discovers, in one poem, his own complicity in Empire during his son’s baseball game at the White House. In another, an embroidered parrot sings a hermetic nursery rhyme to an infant after 9/11.


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