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Wake
by Bin Ramke
University of Iowa Press, 1999
eISBN: 978-1-58729-305-4 | Paper: 978-0-87745-658-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3568.A446W35 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Throughout Bin Ramke's book of poems, certain elements recur insistently: birds and boyhood, betrayal and longings that careen between flesh and faith.

Ramke refuses to distinguish between scientific and poetic approaches to knowing the world. In Wake, the poet does not pretend to offer wisdom but instead offers words, and the words are given as much freedom as possible. The title itself resonates with all its presumptive meanings: an alternative to dreaming, a ceremony binding the living to the dead, and the pattern left briefly in water by boats—handwriting as turbulence in a fluid medium.

Elements of the world at large are woven into the language of these poems, resulting in a conversation among transcripts from the trial of Jeffrey Dahmer, passages from the notebooks of John James Audubon, a meditation on the Book of Daniel, whole epic sentences out of Milton, and the modest observations of the struggling poet himself.


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