After the Fall refers to the twin towers, and is Field’s ode to the events that transpired thereafter--the war in Iraq andthe attack on civil rights in America--as well as his own personal struggles over the indignities of aging.
The beginning of this century has brought with it a host of assumptions about the newness of our technologies, globalized economies, and transnational media practices. Our own time is a period marked by experiences of fragmentation, sensation, and shock. The essays here are joined by a common concern to chart another side to modernity—precisely after the shock of the new—when the new ceases to be shocking, and when the extraordinary and the sensational become linked to the boring and the everyday. Patrice Petro explores how the mechanisms of modernism, German cinema, and feminist film theory have evolved, and she discusses the directions in which they are headed.
Petro’s essays—some published here for the first time—raise such questions as: What roles do television and other media play in film studies? What is the place of feminist film theory in our conceptions of film history? How is German film theory situated within international film theory?
Rather than continue to sensationalize sensation, Aftershocks of the New aims to lower the volume of debates over the place of cinema within the culture of modernity. And it accomplishes this by locating them within a more complex matrix of contending sensibilities, voices, and impulses.
As Angela Jackson has developed as a poet, her poetry has engaged various artistic perspectives yet always maintains a characteristic combination of compassion, grace, and daring. Drawing from earlier works contained in chapbooks, And All These Roads Be Luminous is filled with a world of characters engaged in explorations of identity, sexuality, creativity, and spirituality--all revealed through a passionate verse brimming with surprises.
Russian, German, Tlingit. Like the languages he translates, Richard Dauenhauer’s poetry offers unexpected surprises. A prolific translator who also works in Finnish, Swedish, and classical Greek, he has a poetic command of language that has earned him wide recognition over fifty years of published work. Benchmarks spans these decades of writing, and each poem contained within marks a certain place in time and space, like a surveyor’s benchmark. The poems play with language while focusing on the land and people of Alaska. And like Alaska itself, this book offers a variety of delights—readers will find a new experience with each turn.
A prolific voice in Native American writing for more than twenty years, Rose has been widely anthologized, and is the author of eight volumes of poetry. Bone Dance is a major anthology of her work, comprising selections from her previous collections along with new poems. The 56 selections move from observation of the earth to a search for one's place and identity on it. In an introduction written for this anthology, Rose comments on the place each past collection had in her development as a poet.
"Rich in poems which enhance our awareness of the human complexity of our social and moral dilemmas." —Book Review Digest
"There is a whisper in the wind among the chapters . . . and a singing rain beyond the window." —American Indian Culture Research Journal
A poem is a living library, a hospitable planet in black space, a bell waiting to wear the music of motion across stilled lands. Writers are the carriers of the voices around us. We are writers and readers in dark times when words are correctly understood as powerful weapons. —From the Introduction
Reading Rane Arroyo’s poems is a little like watching a movie playing at fastforward speed on the TV in your darkened bedroom. The colors pop and snap, the images leap and recede, the colors seem brighter than life—and you can’t stop watching even long enough to blink. It’s an intimate experience. Even at hyperspeed you can make out the images of friends, family, and lovers (especially lovers) burning rubber across the unblinking screen. And even without a sound track, you can hear the music—a symphony of jazz and samba, salsa and street sounds.
In The Buried Sea, Arroyo has selected poems from his first eleven books—five full-length collections of poems and six chapbooks—and has added nineteen new poems. When asked to describe himself, Arroyo writes that “the answer is easy: I’m a Puerto Rican, gay, Midwestern, educated, former working class, liberal, atheistic, humanist, American, male, ex-Mormon, ex-Catholic, pseudo-Buddhist, teacher, reader, global, and popular culture—informed poet.” Readers will find traces of all of these selves in this collection. And Arroyo does make it “easy” to follow the clues. His poems—vivacious, sexy, shiny, sly, pointed, ambitious—are easy to approach and easy to love. But they come with strings attached—like all affairs of the heart—and therein lies so much of their pleasure.
Cell Traffic presents new poems and uncollected prose poetry along with selected work from award-winning poet Heid Erdrich's three previous poetry collections. Erdrich's new work reflects her continuing concerns with the tensions between science and tradition, between spirit and body. She finds surprising common ground while exploring indigenous experience in multifaceted ways: personal, familial, biological, and cultural. The title, Cell Traffic, suggests motion and Erdrich considers multiple movements-cellular transfer, the traffic of DNA through body parts and bones, "migration" through procreation, and the larger "movements" of indigenousness and ancestral inheritance.
Erdrich's wry sensibility, sly wit, and keenly insightful mind have earned her a loyal following. Her point of view is always slightly off center, and this lends a particular freshness to her poetry. The debunking and debating of the science of origins is one of Erdrich's focal subjects. In this collection, she turns her observational eye to the search for a genetic mother of humanity, forensic anthropology's quest for the oldest known bones, and online offers of genetic testing. But her interests are not limited to science. She freely admits popular culture into her purview as well, referencing sci-fi television series and Internet pop-up ads.
China’s mid-twentieth-century wars pose extraordinary interpretive challenges. The issue is not just that the Chinese fought for such a long time—from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 1937 until the close of the Korean War in 1953—across such vast territory. As Hans van de Ven explains, the greatest puzzles lie in understanding China’s simultaneous external and internal wars. Much is at stake, politically, in how this story is told.
Today in its official history and public commemorations, the People’s Republic asserts Chinese unity against Japan during World War II. But this overwrites the era’s stark divisions between Communists and Nationalists, increasingly erasing the civil war from memory. Van de Ven argues that the war with Japan, the civil war, and its aftermath were in fact of a piece—a singular process of conflict and political change. Reintegrating the Communist uprising with the Sino-Japanese War, he shows how the Communists took advantage of wartime to increase their appeal, how fissures between the Nationalists and Communists affected anti-Japanese resistance, and how the fractious coalition fostered conditions for revolution.
In the process, the Chinese invented an influential paradigm of war, wherein the Clausewitzian model of total war between well-defined interstate enemies gave way to murky campaigns of national liberation involving diverse domestic and outside belligerents. This history disappears when the realities of China’s mid-century conflicts are stripped from public view. China at War recovers them.
To be a woman in revolutionary Nicaragua meant to take an active role in reshaping a country. Daisy Zamora came out of that experience as a poet who found her own voice in the context of extraordinary popular struggle. Her Clean Slate: New & Selected Poems is a collection that embodies a spirit of personal and political liberation. These 110 poems include works written between the years 1968 and 1993.
In Comfort Measures Only, Rafael Campo bears witness to the unspeakable beauty bound up with human suffering. Gathered from his over twenty-year career as a poet-physician, these eighty-nine poems—thirty-one of which have never been previously published in a collection—pull back the curtain in the ER, laying bare our pain and joining us all in spellbinding moments of pathos. The poet, who is also truly a healer, revives language itself—its sounds channeled through our hearts and lungs, its rhythms amplified through the stethoscope—to make meaning of our bewilderment when our bodies so eloquently and yet wordlessly fail us. Campo’s transcendent poems, in all their modernity amidst the bleep of heart monitors and the wail of ambulance sirens, remind us of what the ancients understood: that poetry sustains us, and whether we live or die, through what we can imagine and create in our shared voices we may yet achieve immortality.
The Contracted World includes representative poems from four of Peter Meinke's previous collections. In poems that show us what it is like to grow up in America, love, nature, cities, sports, war, and peace are filtered through the imagination and verbal skills of one of our brightest poets.
The new poems experiment with form, and address a life that is shrinking in specific ways: the poet is aging, the world is getting smaller, our post-9/11 freedoms are eroding, and our choices seem fewer and less attractive. Despite feelings of anger and loneliness, the narrator speaks to us in a personal, accessible, and often humorous voice.
A contemporary of Berryman, Bishop, and Lowell, William Meredith shared neither the bohemian excesses of the Beats nor the exhibitionist excesses of the "confessional" poets. Rather, he was known as a poet whose unadorned, formal verse marked him as a singular voice. Effort at Speech, the definitive collection of Meredith's life work, contains poems chosen by the author from throughout his career, as well as several new works and an essay by Michael Collier placing Meredith in his times.
"Poetry," wrote Wordsworth, "is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is the countenance of all Science." Robert Pack's new book is a heady mixture of the finer spirit.
A selection from his last five books, along with a collection of new poems, Fathering the Map takes us from the personal reflections distilled in the lyrics of Waking to My Name (1980) to the worldly reckonings of Inheritance (1992) and back again. In the dramatic monologues of Faces in a Single Tree (1984), in the narrative of a wayward life from womb to double ending in Clayfield Rejoices, Clayfield Laments (1987), in a cosmic tour conducted by the physicist Heinz Pagels with Before It Vanishes (1990), Pack has fashioned poems of intimate experience, scientific meditations, philosophical wonder, poems that breathe the knowledge of man and woman, young and old, artist and human animal.
Pack's work has won the acclaim of writers, critics, and readers from Robert Penn Warren to Cynthia Ozick to Stephen Jay Gould, who comments that the "precious contacts of science and poetry are now sadly rare, but Bob Pack revitalizes the ancient union with incisive poems that sing with lyricism or bite with insight—but always seem to add wisdom to the scientist's epigram."
"The poet improves his style and spirit as he extends his reach," Howard Nemerov has written, and in his new work Pack reaches back to some of his earliest memories, and so forward to a personal mythology that circles from the primal instant to the present ecological crisis. "Robert Pack's poetry is deeply rooted in his won family life," Richard Wilbur has remarked, "and yet his imagination has always included us all."
And Cynthia Ozick has said of Pack's poetry: "We rejoice as we read."
This collection of new and selected poems by the former poet laureate of Alaska, Tom Sexton, opens a door on the essence of life in Alaska and Maine. Sexton divides his year between the two states, and he captures here the small but powerful sensual details of day-to-day life in these contrasting, yet similar, environs. His carefully crafted verse distills the birch and aspen, lynx and ptarmigan, and the snow on high peaks. Through his poems we thrill to experience encounters with the wild, the seasons, and the sublime landscape.
“His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human”—Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review
On the other side of night, Francisco Alarcón is waiting.
One of Chicano literature's premier poets, Alarcón has brought his luminous images to the page in such acclaimed volumes as Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes and Snake Poems. Now he has assembled the best of his work from fifteen years, along with fourteen new poems, in a book that distills his magical sense of reality into a cup brimming with passion.
Raised in Guadalajara and now living in the San Francisco Bay area, Alarcón sees that " 'Mexican' / is not / a noun / or an / adjective / 'Mexican' / is a life / long / low-paying / job." Participating in a poetic tradition that goes back to the mystic Spanish poets of the sixteenth century, he brings us sonnets infused with romance and tenderness—and shorter poems that are direct and hard-hitting commentaries on American society, as he cries out for "a more godlike god," one "who spends nights / in houses / of ill repute / and gets up late / on Saturdays."
Alarcón invokes both the mysteries of Mesoamerica and the "otherness" of his gay identity. "My skin is dark / as the night / in this country / of noontime," he writes, "but my soul / is even darker / from all the light / I carry inside." In lyrical poems open to wide interpretation, he transcends ethnic concerns to address social, sexual, and historical issues of concern to all Americans. The fourteen new poems in From the Other Side of Night offer startling new commentaries on life and love, sex and AIDS.
Shifting effortlessly between English and Spanish—and even Nahuatl—Alarcón demonstrates the gift of language that has earned him both a wide readership and the admiration of fellow poets. With this book, he invites new readers to meet him where the darkness is palpable and the soul burns bright.
The racial and ethnic composition of Philadelphia continues to diversify as a new wave of immigrants—largely from Asia and Latin America—reshape the city’s demographic landscape. Moreover, in a globalized economy, immigration is the key to a city’s survival and competitiveness. The contributors to Global Philadelphia examine how Philadelphia has affected its immigrants’ lives, and how these immigrants, in turn, have shaped Philadelphia.
Providing a detailed historical, ethnographic, and sociological look at Philadelphia’s immigrant communities, this volume examines the social and economic dynamics of various ethnic populations. Significantly, the contributors make comparisons to and connections between the traditional immigrant groups—Germans, Italians, the Irish, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Chinese—and newer arrivals, such as Cambodians, Haitians, Indians, Mexicans, and African immigrants of various nationalities.
While their experiences vary, Global Philadelphia focuses on some of the critical features that face all immigrant groups—intra-group diversity, the role of institutions, and ties to the homeland. Taken together, these essays provide a richer understanding of the processes and implications of contemporary immigration to the area.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award
For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach. Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a unique sensibility for uncovering the unknown and the unexpected. Through a variety of stages and transformations, Herrera has evolved more than almost any other Chicano poet, always re-inventing himself into a more mature and seasoned voice.
Now, in this unprecedented collection, we encounter the trajectory of this highly innovative and original writer, bringing the full scope of his singular vision into view. Beginning with early material from A Certain Man, the volume moves through thirteen of Herrera’s collections into new, previously unpublished work. Serious scholars and readers alike will now have available to them a representative set of glimpses into his production as well as his origins and personal development. The ultimate value of bringing together such a collection, however, is that it will allow us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of what this major American poet is all about.
Musically complex and intellectually sophisticated, Louise McNeill’s imagery and rhythms have their deepest sources in the West Virginia mountains where she was born in 1911 on a farm that has been in her family for nine generations. These are rooted poems, passionately concerned with stewardship of the land and with the various destructions of land and people that often come masked as “progress.”
In colloquial, rural, and sometimes macabre imagery, Louise McNeill documents the effects of the change from a farm to an industrial economy on the West Virginia mountain people. She writes of the earliest white settlements on the western side of the Alleghenies and of the people who remained there through the coming of the roads, the timber and coal industries, and the several wars of this century.
The reappearance of Louise McNeill’s long out-of-print poems will be cause for celebration for readers familiar with her work. Those reading it for the first time will discover musical, serious, idiosyncratic, and startling poems that define the Appalachian experience.
Laurence Gonzales began his successful publishing career in 1989 with the publication of The Still Point and later The Hero’s Apprentice (1994), both with the University of Arkansas Press. From these collections of essays he went on to write for renowned magazines in addition to publishing several books, including the best selling Deep Survival. His journalism garnered two National Magazine Awards, and his latest nonfiction book, Surviving Survival, was named by Kirkus as one of the best books of 2012.
This new collection of essays shows us the sometimes hair-raising, sometimes heart-wrenching writing that Gonzales has become known for. This “compelling and trustworthy guide” (Booklist) takes us from a maximum-security prison to a cancer ward, from a mental institution to the World Trade Center. Among the essays included is “Marion Prison,” a National Magazine Award finalist, with its intimate view inside the most maximum security prison in America. “House of Pain” takes the reader into the life of a brain surgeon at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, a grim world that few ever see. “Rites of Spring,” another National Magazine Award finalist, follows Gonzales and his wife on their journey through cancer, not once, but twice.
Other stories venture above the Arctic Circle, flying deep into the Alaskan wilderness among grizzly bears and trumpeter swans; explore aerobatics in high-performance aircraft; and eulogize Memphis and Miami as American cities that mourn their fates in uniquely different ways.
The bluesy, rich, and vital poems in House of Sparrows look for grace and beauty not outside of the suffering world but within it. Betsy Sholl explores the shifting ironies and contradictions in the stories we tell—how the apple is both medicinal and poison, and how the poor are spiritually rich. Her language mines the landscapes of Appalachia, New England, and the works of Dante and St. Francis, seeking music and moral clarity in the breakages and noisy contradictions of life. By turns meditative and vivid, these poems suggest that all journeys are in part journeys of the spirit.
Ice Floe: New & Selected Poems
Edited by Shannon Gramse and Sarah Kirk University of Alaska Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN6099.I34 2010 | Dewey Decimal 808.81935820913
Ice Floe, the celebrated and award-winning journal of circumpolar poetry, is here reborn as an annual book series. This first volume features the best of the journal's first seven years, along with evocative new poetry from Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. All work is presented in both its original language and in English translation. With contributors including former Alaska poet laureate John Haines, Gunnar Harding, Robert Bly, Lennart Sjögren, and dozens of other established and emerging poets, this wonderful collection of voices from the northern latitudes is a great read for all lovers of poetry and international literature.
Collected here are poems from Peter Oresick’s previous books, beginning with The Story of Glass (1977), and to them are added 36 new poems called Under the Carpathians. His work—known for working class and Catholic themes—probes labor and social history, post-World War II America, Eastern European identity, Eastern Rite Catholicism, and Russian icons and fine art and especially Pittsburgh-born pop art icon Andy Warhol.
In the world of Chilean poet Ariel Dorfman, men and women can be forced to choose between leaving their country or dying for it. The living risk losing everything, but what they hold onto—love, faith, hope, truth—might change the world. It is this subversive possibility that speaks through these poems. A succession of voices—exiles, activists, separated lovers, the families of those victimized by political violence—gives an account of ruptured safety. They bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of personal and social damage in the aftermath of terror. The first bilingual edition of Dorfman’s work, In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land includes ten new poems and a new preface, and brings back into print the classic poems of the celebrated Last Waltz in Santiago. Always an eloquent voice against the ravages of inhumanity, Dorfman’s poems, like his acclaimed novels, continue to be a searing testimony of hope in the midst of despair.
Interrogation Palace is a career-spanning selection of work from an important American poet, drawing upon each of David Wojahn’s six previous collections and a substantial gathering of new work. Moving fluently from personal history to public history, and from high culture to popular culture, Wojahn’s searching and restless poetry has been considerably acclaimed, both for the candor of its testimony and the authority of its formal invention. He is above all an elegiac poet, tender and ferocious by turns, whether mourning the loss of family and loved ones or the hopes and aspirations of the baby-boomer era. <I>Interrogation Palace</I> confirms David Wojahn’s status as one of the most inventive, passionate, and ambitious figures of his generation.
“Jewish stories,” writes Adam Biro, “resemble every people’s stories.” Yet at the same time there is no better way to understand the soul, history, millennial suffering, or, crucially, the joys of the Jewish people than through such tales—“There’s nothing,” writes Biro, “more revelatory of the Jewish being.”
With Is It Good for the Jews? Biro offers a sequel to his acclaimed collection of stories Two Jews on a Train. Through twenty-nine tales—some new, some old, but all finely wrought and rich in humor—Biro spins stories of characters coping with the vicissitudes and reverses of daily life, while simultaneously painting a poignant portrait of a world of unassimilated Jewish life that has largely been lost to the years. From rabbis competing to see who is the most humble, to the father who uses suicide threats to pressure his children into visiting, to three men berated by the Almighty himself for playing poker, Biro populates his stories with memorable characters and absurd—yet familiar—situations, all related with a dry wit and spry prose style redolent of the long tradition of Jewish storytelling.
A collection simultaneously of foibles and fables, adversity and affection, Is It Good for the Jews? reminds us that if in the beginning was the word, then we can surely be forgiven for expecting a punch line to follow one of these days.
In Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, Beatty travels the turns and collisions of over twenty years of work. She moves from first-person narratives to poems that straddle the page in fragments, to lines that sprawl with long lines of train tracks. Always landing in meaning, we are inside the body—not in a confessional voice, not autobiography—but arriving through the expanded, exploded image of many stories and genders.
The new poems leap imagistically from the known world to the purely imagined, as in the voice in "Abortion with Gun Barrel": "I am the counselor,/there are cracks in the barrel of the gun/there is aiming/shots of sorrow—/ shots of light.” Commitment to a rabid feminist voice continues, but arrival has a new ring to it, with beginnings rescripted: “I am a bastard./I walk around in this body of mine."
Beatty’s fascination with the highway and the breakout West jackknifes at the crossroads of the brutal and the white plains of loss—the body torn down and resurrected in the twenty first century.
This political history of New Jersey during the Civil War and the years immediately before and after invites us to rethink New Jersey's role and in particular its relationship to the border states. William Gillette argues that there is little evidence supporting the idea that New Jersey's residents were pro-southern before the war, or even antiwar during it, although attitudes toward the abolition of slavery were more ambivalent. The perspectives Gillette offers in Jersey Blue, from the recruiting ground, the battlefield, and the home front, cast new light on New Jersey's wartime activities, state identity, and our understanding of the interrelationships between New Jersey's national, regional, and state developments.
Gillette takes a broader view of the politics of the Civil War as he touches on the economy, geography, demography, immigration, nativism, conscription, and law. The result is a pioneering history of New Jersey that deepens our understanding of the Civil War.
Tackling the myriad issues raised by Sander Gilman’s provocative opening salvo—”Are Jews Musical?”—this volume’s distinguished contributors present a series of essays that trace the intersections of Jewish history and music from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Covering the sacred and the secular, the European and the non-European, and all the arenas where these realms converge, these essays recast the established history of Jewish culture and its influences on modernity. Mitchell Ash explores the relationship of Jewish scientists to modernist artists and musicians, while Edwin Seroussi looks at the creation of Jewish sacred music in nineteenth-century Vienna. Discussing Jewish musicologists in Austria and Germany, Pamela Potter details their contributions to the “science of music” as a modern phenomenon. Kay Kaufman Shelemay investigates European influence in the music of an Ethiopian Jewish community, and Michael P. Steinberg traces the life and works of Charlotte Salomon, whose paintings staged the destruction of the Holocaust. Bolstered by Philip V. Bohlman’s wide-ranging introduction and epilogue, and featuring lush color illustrations and a complementary CD of the period’s music, this volume is a lavish tribute to Jewish contributions to modernity.
Kathleen Norris has touched readers throughout America with her thoughtful and provocative memoirs of faith: Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, The Cloister Walk, and Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith. She is equally admired for her poetry of engagement with the spiritual world and its landscapes. Journey includes poems from three previous books spanning thirty years, along with a generous selection of new work that continues her radically individual celebration of the sacredness of life.
Theodore Dreiser led a long and controversial life, almost always pursuing some serious question, and not rarely pursuing women. This collection, the second volume of Dreiser correspondence to be published by the University of Illinois Press, gathers previously unpublished letters Dreiser wrote to women between 1893 and 1945, many of them showing personal feelings Dreiser revealed nowhere else. Here he both preens and mocks himself, natters and scolds, relates his jaunts with Mencken and his skirmishes with editors and publishers. He admits his worries, bemoans his longings, and self-consciously embarks on love letters that are unafraid to smolder and flame. To one reader he sends “Kisses, Kisses, Kisses, for your sweety mouth” and urges his needy requests: “Write me a love-letter Honey girl.” Alongside such amorous play, he often expressed his deepest feelings on philosophical, religious, and social issues that characterize his public writing.
Chronologically arranged and meticulously edited by Thomas P. Riggio, these letters reveal how wide and deep Dreiser’s needs were. Dreiser often discussed his writing in his letters to women friends, telling them what he wanted to do, where he thought he succeeded and failed, and seeking approval or criticism. By turns seductive, candid, coy, and informative, these letters provide an intimate view of a master writer who knew exactly what he was after.
Peter Meinke was a master of traditional poetic forms long before the current interest in “the new formalism.” His work is, in turn, witty, comic, sane, deeply moving, and always readable. Liquid Paper collects the best of his previously published poems from the late 1960s on with a generous selection of new work.
Linda McCarriston mobilizes feeling, thinking, and narrating simultaneously to create works of music, insight, and passion. With characteristic honesty and energy, she draws from the lives of fellow human beings and from those of animals, too--the telling moments, metaphors, and myths of family life, social structures, and gender. Her recent experiences in Alaska come to represent an emigration just as urgent as the previous generation's from Ireland.
In this selection of poems from thirty years of a distinguished writing career, we see the growth of a poet’s mind, heart, and spirit as Ostriker struggles to love “this wounded / World that we cannot heal, that is our bride.” Whether she probes the meaning of childhood, family, marriage, and motherhood, or art, history, politics, and God; whether she is celebrating sexuality or confronting mortality, the poet includes “whatever I can grasp of human experience within my art—the good and beautiful, the evil and chaotic. I tell my students that they must write what they are afraid to write; and I attempt to do so myself.”
Long for This World features the best of Ronald Wallace's work from his previous collections of poetry--Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks , Tunes for Bears to Dance To, People and Dog in the Sun, The Makings of Happiness, Time's Fancy and The Uses of Adversity--along with a generous selection of twenty-six new poems. If Wallace's recent poems sometimes seem darker and deeper, more meditative and complex, less sanguine about the tragedies of daily life, they never sacrifice the comic sense, the synthesis of technical skill and strong emotion, and the sensory immediacy that have become his hallmarks.
Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) achieved international fame in 1911 with the publication of her book, Mysticism, now in its eighteenth edition. In the course of her long career she published nearly forty books, including three novels and two volumes of poetry, as well as numerous poems in periodicals. She was the religion editor for Spectator, a friend of T. S. Eliot (her influence is visible in his last masterpiece, Four Quartets), and the first woman invited to lecture on theology at Oxford University.
In time for the centennial celebration of her classic Mysticism, this volume of Underhill's letters will enable readers and researchers to follow her as she reconciled her beliefs with her daily life. The letters reveal her personal and theological development and clarify the relationships that influenced her life and work. Drawing from collections previously unknown to scholars, this volume demonstrates an exceptional range and scope, including Underhill's earliest letters from boarding school to her mother, correspondence with Nobel prize laureate Rabindinrath Tagore and Sir James Frazier, and a letter written to T. S. Eliot from what was to be her deathbed in London in 1941 as the London Blitz blazed around her.
Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best recent work of American and German scholars. The authors’ major new discoveries include the massive transcript of the early-1950s Farnsworth House court case, which discloses for the first time the facts about Mies’s epic battle with his client Edith Farnsworth. Giving voice to dozens of architects who knew and worked with (and sometimes against) Mies, this comprehensive biography tells the compelling story of how Mies and his students and followers created some of the most significant buildings of the twentieth century.
This book includes Janowitz's seminal work, The Military in the Political Development of New Nations, with additional new analysis of Latin American nations and of the increasing significance of paramilitary and police forces in authoritarian regimes in developing nations.
Award-winning Latino author Luis J. Rodríguez stuns with My Nature is Hunger. The collection features 26 new poems that reflect Rodríguez’s increasingly global view, his hard-won spirituality, and his movement toward reconciliation with his family and his past, as well as selections from his previous books, Poems Across the Pavement, The Concrete River, and Trochemoche.
New and Selected Poems
Yves Bonnefoy University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress PQ2603.O533A2 1995 | Dewey Decimal 841.914
Yves Bonnefoy, celebrated translator and critic, is widely considered the most important and influential French poet since World War II. Named to the College de France in 1981 to fill the chair left vacant by the death of Roland Barthes, Bonnefoy was the first poet honored in this way since Paul Valery. Winner of many awards, including the Prix Goncourt in 1987 and the Hudson Review's Bennett Award in 1988, he is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry.
Spanning four decades and drawing on all of Bonnefoy's major collections, this selection provides a comprehensive overview of and an ideal introduction to his work. The elegant translations, many of them new, are presented in this dual-language edition alongside the original French. Several significant works appear here in English for the first time, among them, in its entirety, Bonnefoy's 1991 book of verse, The Beginning and the End of the Snow, the 1988 prose poem Where the Arrow Falls, and an important long poem from 1993, "Wind and Smoke." Together with poems from such classic volumes as "In the Lure of the Threshold", these new works shed light on the growth as well as the continuity of Bonnefoy's work.
John Naughton's detailed introduction looks at the evolution of Bonnefoy's poetry from the 1953 publication of "On the Motion and Immobility of Douve", which immediately established his reputation as one of France's leading poets, through the 1993 publication of The Wandering Life and its centerpiece "Wind and Smoke."
"This is a comprehensive selection that contains examples of work spanning [Bonnefoy's] full career of forty years, from the ground-breaking "Du Mouvement et de l'Immobilité de Douve" through the celebratory "Pierre Ecrite" to the magical winter landscapes of America's East Coast and an unsettling reworking of myth in the recent "La Vie Errante" . . . The translations, which are the work of a variety of hands, including Galway Kinnell, Emily Grosholz and Anthony Rudolf, nevertheless fit well together and all are sensitive to the register and subtleties of both languages, while the introductory essay by John Naughton expertly explains Bonnefoy's importance as a poet and the influences which have shaped him. This is definitely a volume worth having, for layman and French specialist alike."—Hilary Davies, Times Literary Supplement
"Anyone not familiar with Bonnefoy's work will benefit from the background information and explanations given by John Naughton in his excellent introduction . . . . The book as a whole provides an excellent introduction to Bonnefoy's poetry and to his concerns of a lifetime."—Don Rodgers, Poetry Wales
With an astonishing command of nature imagery, from sparrows to mastodons, Philip Appleman can deftly weave into a single poem an intricate pattern of ideas drawn from evolution, humanism, anthropology, religious skepticism, and everyday experience. Appealing to reason as well as to emotion and imagination, he writes poems of lyrical intensity and remarkable narrative depth. He creates characters—Eve or Darwin or a failed priest—with such wit, compassion, and subtle humor that they live on the page and surprise us with new insights into joy and sorrow, life and death. Set on the beach at Malibu, in the port of Trieste, or in a Manhattan subway, his poems evoke genuine feeling with out sentimentality and transform the personal into the universal.
Drawn from six previous books of poetry written over four decades, and with fourteen new poems, this collection shows the power and complexity of Appleman’s wide-ranging talent.
In 1850, a group of reformist male Quaker physicians and allies founded the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania to offer formal medical training to women. By the 1890s, the renamed Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMC) had matured into a solid and progressive institution that would outlast other, younger women's medical schools that had arisen in the United States. Steven J. Peitzman describes how WMC survived periods of instability and crises as it became a remarkable experiment in single-sex professional education, and a rare early example of female-male collaboration in science and medicine. Its unique survival provided scarce opportunities for women physicians and scientists to teach and perform research, while maintaining the assurance of medical education free from gender discrimination, Yielding to complex forces, it became the coeducational Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1970 and found another new course to pursue
If art and science have one thing in common, it’s a hunger for the new—new ideas and innovations, new ways of seeing and depicting the world. But that desire for novelty carries with it a fundamental philosophical problem: If everything has to come from something, how can anything truly new emerge? Is novelty even possible?
In Novelty, Michael North takes us on a dazzling tour of more than two millennia of thinking about the problem of the new, from the puzzles of the pre-Socratics all the way up to the art world of the 1960s and ’70s. The terms of the debate, North shows, were established before Plato, and have changed very little since: novelty, philosophers argued, could only arise from either recurrence or recombination. The former, found in nature’s cycles of renewal, and the latter, seen most clearly in the workings of language, between them have accounted for nearly all the ways in which novelty has been conceived in Western history, taking in reformation, renaissance, invention, revolution, and even evolution. As he pursues this idea through centuries and across disciplines, North exhibits astonishing range, drawing on figures as diverse as Charles Darwin and Robert Smithson, Thomas Kuhn and Ezra Pound, Norbert Wiener and Andy Warhol, all of whom offer different ways of grappling with the idea of originality.
Novelty, North demonstrates, remains a central problem of contemporary science and literature—an ever-receding target that, in its complexity and evasiveness, continues to inspire and propel the modern. A heady, ambitious intellectual feast, Novelty is rich with insight, a masterpiece of perceptive synthesis.
David Ferry's Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations provides a wonderful gathering of the work of one of the great American poetic voices of the twentieth century. It brings together his new poems and translations, collected here for the first time; his books Strangers and Dwelling Places in their entirety; selections from his first book, On the Way to the Island; and selections from his celebrated translations of the Babylonian epic Gilgamesh, the Odes of Horace, and of Virgil's Eclogues. This is Ferry's fullest and most resonant book, demonstrating the depth and breadth of forty years of a life in poetry.
"Though Ferry is perhaps best known for his eloquent translations of Horace and Virgil, "Of No Country I Know" demonstrates that he deserves acclaim for his own poetry as well."—Carmela Ciuraru, New York Times Book Review
Documenting a rich Scandinavian American culture and ethnic perspective
This notable collection of seventeen essays and six editorials by renowned Swedish American historian H. Arnold Barton was compiled from writings published between 1974 and 2005. The result of three decades of extensive research in the United States and Sweden, The Old Country and the New: Essays on Swedes and America, covers Swedish emigration to North America as well as the history and culture of Swedes in their new country.
In this rich mosaic of American ethnicity and cultural history, Barton analyzes the multifaceted Swedish emigration/immigration story. Essays include a survey of the historiography of emigration from the Scandinavian countries and the Scandinavian immigration to North America, Swedish emigration before 1846, and the Eric-Janssonist religious sect and its colony at Bishop Hill, Illinois.
Because Swedish immigrants were highly literate people, they wrote numerous letters describing their experiences to relatives and friends at home. What these letters related— or omitted— is the subject of another essay. Barton discusses Swedish immigrants who returned permanently to their homeland, affecting both the old country and the new. He also traces relations between the United States and Sweden, post— World War II Swedish immigration, and genealogy as history.
Offering a broad Scandinavian American ethnic perspective, The Old Country and the New appeals to both scholars and lay readers. Sixteen illustrations and a complete bibliography of Barton’ s publications on Swedish American history and culture enhance the volume.
The Old Land and the New was first published in 1965. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
These are the journals in English translation of two early Swiss immigrants to America who provided an intriguing picture of life as they saw it in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The book is illustrated with sketches by the Swiss artist, Hans Erni.
Perhaps Paul Kareem Taylor said it best in his piece called On the Road Again: Barbara Hamby's American Odyssey: "Reading Barbara Hamby's poetry is like going on a road trip, one where the woman behind the wheel lets you ride shotgun as she speeds across the open highways of an America where drive-in movie theaters still show Janet Leigh films on Friday nights, hardware stores have not been driven out of business by soulless corporate titans, and where long poetic lines first introduced by Walt Whitman and resurrected by Ginsberg are pregnant with a thousand reasons to marvel at the world we inhabit."
The new and selected stories in this collection, written over a period of thirty years, are firmly entrenched in the culture and people of rust belt cities and rural Appalachia.
These stories are often set against large, significant events like the Cold War, Vietnam, and the Kent State shootings, but are always uniquely local. A mother fends off the police by brandishing copperhead snakes. A woman cares for the dog of an alleged double murderer. A husband who has lost his job works at trying to save his wife from a debilitating phobia.
This extensive collection by Gary Fincke, an accomplished poet and writer of fiction, gives rise to ordinary people living lives made fascinating by attention to the particulars of voice, place, and character. With precise language, surprising imagery, and sharp, evocative dialogue, these stories deepen beyond the oddities of their characters, who are scarred and defeated by circumstance and choice, but also attain moments of grace, compassion, and generosity of the spirit.
Alan Williamson artfully joins social and literary history with personal experience in The Pattern More Complicated, a collection of his very best poems over the last twenty years. A powerful section of new poems draws the whole work together in a kind of autobiographical novel, as—in Eliot's phrase, from which the title is taken—"the pattern of dead and living" grows "more complicated" with the years. Williamson's verse is a refreshing examples of how delicately the personal can intersect with the public in a love for the considered life.
The Pattern More Complicated assembles Williamson's most important, representative poems, marking the trajectory of poetic development and the recurrence of themes across the span of four previous collections to present a survey of a major American poet in a single volume.
The son of an army officer, Conrad S. Babcock graduated from West Point in 1898, just in time for the opening of the Spanish-American War. Because of his father’s position, he managed to secure a place in the force that Major General Wesley Merritt led to Manila to secure the city. The Philippine Insurrection, as Americans described it, began shortly after he arrived. What Babcock observed in subsequent months and years, and details in his memoir, was the remarkable transition the U.S. Army was undergoing. From after the Civil War until just before the Spanish War, the army amounted to 28,000 men. It increased to 125,000, tiny compared with those of the great European nations of France and Germany, but the great change in the army came after its arrival in France in the summer of 1918, when the German army compelled the U.S. to change its nineteenth-century tactics.
Babcock’s original manuscript has been shortened by Robert H. Ferrell into eight chapters which illustrate the tremendous shift in warfare in the years surrounding the turn of the century. The first part of the book describes small actions against Filipinos and such assignments as taking a cavalry troop into the fire-destroyed city of San Francisco in 1906 or duty in the vicinity of Yuma in Arizona when border troubles were heating up with brigands and regular troops. The remaining chapters, beginning in 1918, set out the battles of Soissons (July 18–22) and Saint-Mihiel (September 12–16) and especially the immense battle of the Meuse-Argonne (September 26–November 11), the largest (1.2 million troops involved) and deadliest (26,000 men killed) battle in all of American history.
By the end of his career, Babcock was an adroit battle commander and an astute observer of military operations. Unlike most other officers around him, he showed an ability and willingness to adapt infantry tactics in the face of recently developed technology and weaponry such as the machine gun. When he retired in 1937 and began to write his memoirs, another world war had begun, giving additional context to his observations about the army and combat over the preceding forty years.
Until now, Babcock’s account has only been available in the archives of the Hoover Institution, but with the help of Ferrell's crisp, expert editing, this record of army culture in the first decades of the twentieth century can now reach a new generation of scholars.
THE REVLON SLOUGH, Ray DiZazzo's fourth poetry collection represents fifty years of writing that explores life's observations in harmony with both the natural world, and the often anomalous societies we inhabit. This volume is organized into seven sections that explore creatures both exotic and mundane, the fragility of damaged individuals, social and political perspectives, personal observations, science fiction and space, and perhaps most important, what it means to be a human being in this contested, often volatile world. As the collection's title elucidates, DiZazzo has created a narrative initially inspired by his discovery of a farmland slough, with its own biosystem, and natural dichotomy of beauty and ugliness. His poetry, primarily written in free verse (with an occasional haiku) projects an intimacy with nature that resists sentimentality and romanticism, giving the poetry a vivid, unadorned feel throughout the volume. THE REVLON SLOUGH is DiZazzo's most intimate and eloquent poetry collection to date.
On its initial publication, The Roman Community at Table during the Principate broke new ground with its approach to the integral place of feasting in ancient Roman culture and the unique power of food to unite and to separate its recipients along class lines throughout the Empire. John F. Donahue’s comprehensive examination of areas such as festal terminology, the social roles of benefactors and beneficiaries, the kinds of foods offered at feasts, and the role of public venues in community banquets draws on over three hundred Latin honorary inscriptions to recreate the ancient Roman feast. Illustrations depicting these inscriptions, as well as the food supply trades and various festal venues, bring important evidence to the study of this vital and enduring social practice. A touchstone for scholars, the work remains fresh and relevant.
This expanded edition of Donahue’s work includes significant new material on current trends in food studies, including the archaeology and bioarchaeology of ancient food and drink; an additional collection of inscriptions on public banquets from the Roman West; and an extensive bibliography of scholarship produced in the last ten years. It will be of interest not only to classicists and historians of the ancient world, but also to anthropologists and sociologists interested in food and social group dynamics.
Although John Milton is best known for his poems such as Paradise Lost, his prose works, including Areopagitica, The Tenure of Kings, and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, are important in their own right. In this selection of Milton’s prose, C.A. Patrides presents the best possible texts of complete works in a format designed to enable students to understand Milton the thinker as well as to judge for themselves the achievements of Milton the artist in prose.
First published in 1974, C.A. Patrides ‘s edition of Milton’s prose has proved invaluable to students and scholars of Renaissance literature because it includes mostly the complete texts of Milton’s prose works. Now, in this new and updated edition, Patrides has revised his introduction and his bibliography to reflect advances in Milton scholarship in the past ten years. In addition, the selections have been expanded to include passages from Milton’s theological treatise De doctrina Christiana.
The study of any masterpiece can change one’s life, but the Confessions of St. Augustine, like Plato’s Republic or Dante’s Commedia, has the almost uncanny power to enact in the reader what it describes. Plato’s book reconfigures the city of the soul by freeing it from enslavement to the tyrannical passions and making it answerable to reason in its pursuit of the good. For Augustine, who shares many of the same ends, the pursuit of the good is not the rectification of philosophical reason, but (as it was for Dante) an intensely personal and consuming love: the encounter with the living God. Oddly, it may seem, that encounter comes for Augustine through the act of reading. Unlike Plato, who depicts the process of reasoning toward the truth, Augustine finds the truth revealed in another, immeasurably greater book that cannot be read in its true sense without the help of its author.
The essays uncover a variety of themes, from Augustine’s act of reading (Marc LePain and Bercier), his emphasis on memory (Roger Corriveau), and his choice to reveal to the world his “hidden and unworldly activity” (Daniel Maher), to the way Augustine’s own education might serve as a corrective to contemporary understandings of “assessment” (Gavin Colvert). The vast wake of Augustine’s work includes writers from Dante and Montaigne to Nabokov, but three representative figures were chosen to show his influence: Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the Confessions (Rick Sorenson), James Joyce in the whole range of his work (Eloise Knowlton), and T.S. Eliot in the Four Quartets (Glenn Arbery). The most direct engagement with Augustine is obviously Rousseau’s. In his essay comparing and contrasting the pivotal moments of the two Confessions, Rick Sorenson explores major differences between the way of faith and the path of reliance on reason. Joyce might be said to have taken Rousseau’s path (at least in rejecting revelation), whereas Eliot took Augustine’s.
In its sophistications and anxieties, the late antiquity Augustine inhabited feels a great deal like the late modernity we inhabit now. Certainly, the barbarians of materialist thought long ago sacked the civilization our ancestors inhabited. When Eliot published The Waste Land in 1922, he already saw the old order of antiquity and Christendom as “stony rubble,” “a heap of broken images.” As one of his speakers puts it, “Dry bones can harm no one.” This old book, the Confessions, might seem to our contemporaries as dry and dead as those bones, but it is not so.
Without being a defense of Christianity (as the City of God is) or a work of catechesis, the Confessions might be the greatest counter to the materialist creed in Western literature. It recounts Augustine’s central, intensely personal, and ultimately liberating struggle to conceive of spiritual substance, an intellectual achievement without which he cannot even hope to accommodate his understanding to the reality of God. This book of essays has one primary end, which is to entice the reader to reopen Augustine’s book, to look over his shoulder and see what the act of reading means to him and what it has accomplished: the world-changing encounter with the substance of the Word.
How do college writing teachers learn new ways to teach? Most current composition research focuses almost exclusively on student writers, ignoring the role the teacher plays in classroom development. Here is the first book to focus on college writing teachers and the ways in which they are affected by graduate rhetoric pedagogy courses.
Wendy Bishop observed teachers enrolled in a doctoral seminar, titled "Teaching Basic Writing," and then conducted case studies of five of those teachers in their college writing classrooms to investigate how their teaching practices changed and how their previous professional and personal histories influenced their ability to make those changes.
Named U.S. Poet Laureate for 2004-2006, Ted Kooser is one of America's masters of the short metaphorical poem. Dana Gioia has remarked that Kooser has written more perfect poems than any poet of his generation. Long admired and praised by other poets, Kooser is also accesible to the reader not familiar with contemporary poetry.
This original work caps years of thought by Leonard Krieger about the crisis of the discipline of history. His mission is to restore history's autonomy while attacking the sources of its erosion in various "new histories," which borrow their principles and methods from disciplines outside of history. Krieger justifies the discipline through an analysis of the foundations on which various generations of historians have tried to establish the coherence of their subject matter and of the convergence of historical patterns.
The heart of Krieger's narrative is an insightful analysis of theories of history from the classical period to the present, with a principal focus on the modern period. Krieger's exposition covers such figures as Ranke, Hegel, Comte, Marx, Acton, Troeltsch, Spengler, Braudel, and Foucault, among others, and his discussion involves him in subtle distinctions among terms such as historism, historicism, and historicity. He points to the impact on history of academic political radicalism and its results: the new social history. Krieger argues for the autonomy of historical principles and methods while tracing the importation in the modern period of external principles for historical coherence.
Time's Reasons is a profound attempt to rejuvenate and restore integrity to the discipline of history by one of the leading masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography. As such, it will be required reading for all historiographers and intellectual historians of the modern period.
The horse that, trotting with open heart
Against the wind, achieves bend and flow
Will live forever. So far, so good,
But they never do, until too late,
Bend properly and time spreads from
The momentary hesitations
Of their spines, circles their tossing necks,
Falls from their teeth like rejected oats,
Litters the ground like penitence.
This is where we come in, where the drop
Of time congeals the air and someone
Speaks to the discouraged grass . . .
Tricks of the Light explores the often fraught relationships between domestic animals and humans through mythological figurations, vibrant thought, and late-modern lyrics that seem to test their own boundaries. Vicki Hearne (1946–2001), best known and celebrated today as a writer of strikingly original poetry and prose, was a capable dog and horse trainer, and sometimes controversial animal advocate.
This definitive collection of Hearne’s poetry spans the entirety of her illustrious career, from her first book, Nervous Horses (1980), to never-before-published poems composed on her deathbed. But no matter the source, each of her meditative, metaphysical lyrics possesses that rare combination of philosophical speculation, practical knowledge of animals, and an unusually elegant style unlike that of any other poet writing today. Before her untimely death, Hearne entrusted the manuscript to distinguished poet, scholar, and long-time friend John Hollander, whose introduction provides both critical and personal insight into the poet’s magnum opus. Tricks of the Light—acute, vibrant, and deeply informed—is a sensuous reckoning of the connection between humans and the natural world.
Praise for The Parts of Light
“Hearne . . . strives to capture exactly what she knows she can't—the intense immediacy of animal consciousness, a consciousness free of the moral vagaries and intellectual preoccupations that pockmark human experience. Her style, smooth in some places, choppy in others, reflects both the wholeness of animal presence and the jarring, fragmentary nature of human reason and reflection. Hearne's poems demand participation, refuse passive enjoyment; she dares the reader to stay in the saddle.”—Publishers Weekly
This collection of the most beloved and brilliant poems from Howard Nemerov's fruitful career also introduces twenty-three new poems in a section entitled "Trying Conclusions." Written during his tenure as the nation's Poet Laureate, these new poems are imbued with vivid intelligence, an irreverent sense of humor, and masterful wit—trademarks of the Nemerov legacy.
"Two Jews were traveling on a train. . . . " Many Eastern European jokes—and several of the charming and often hilarious conversations in this book—begin this way. From all regions of the world and from all walks of life, the characters are young and full of life and old and ugly; they are rabbis, matchmakers, students, and immigrants. They gossip and speak about everything from the banalities of the world to the unspeakable evils of existence all for a single purpose: to laugh and to celebrate the good luck of being alive.
As Biro recounts these tales, we hear not only his voice and the voice of his father, but those of generations of storytellers who have used humor to teach about the truly important issues in life—the delicacy of love, the fragility of friendship, the pitfalls of self-righteousness, the costs of narrow-mindedness, and the unpredictability of life itself. Biro artfully spins each story, lingering on the details, guiding the reader to the inevitable—yet always unexpected—punchline.
Taken individually, these stories will make you laugh out loud; taken as a whole, they form an invaluable record of the sensibilities of an entire people. Biro writes: "These Jewish stories of which not a single one happened to me, and of which I did not invent a single one, do describe me, do characterize me, do explain me. They are always my own story. And yours."
Windfall includes poems from three previous books by Maggie Anderson, along with a generous selection of new work. In this collection we can see over two decades of the growth of a poet memorable for the clarity, strength, and urgency of her voice. Anderson’s poems entangle a language, a history, and a group of belongings, and she is both at home and a foreigner in the places she invokes. Every place in these poems seems inhabitable, yet the tensions of these deceptively quiet lines develop out of the clear reluctance or inability of the poet to sit still. Maggie Anderson writes out of deep grief for the political losses of work and money, of life and limb and home in our dangerous times. She remembers and witnesses, and she also speaks eloquently for our private griefs—the loss of family, vitality and self. These poems do not shout; we listen as if following a whisper in the dark. A counterpoint to the sorrows in these poems is a complex and often joyous music, as well as a wry, sometimes self-deprecating humor which saves the work from solemnity. Her rhythms are diverse and intricate; they move deftly from fiddle whine to saxophone, from fugue to blues.
The World at Large brings together the best of James McMichael's poetry and includes works that appear for the first time in this volume. With the publication of the new poems, McMichael surpasses even the formally daring and psychologically penetrating poetry that has characterized his work thus far.
from Enormously Sad
. . . Sad, so sad-compared to what?
To your earlier more oblivious state?
It never was oblivious enough-
always those presentiments of sadness
prickling the limbic. Now a voice says, Get outside yourself, go walk on the flats. The tide's gone out—
but your little metal detector will detect little metallic coins
of enormous sadness in the teeming wet sand,
and then, the tide will come back, erasing, cleansing!
And you, standing there in the salty scouring air-
will you still be enormously sad,
While the other world, outside your tiny purview, struck
by iron, reels? World of intentional iron, pure savage
organized iron of the world, it hasn't the time
that you have for your puny enormous sadness.
Widely acclaimed for expanding the stylistic boundaries of both the narrative and meditative lyric, Gail Mazur’s poetry crackles with verbal invention as she confronts the inevitable upheavals of a lived life. Zeppo’s First Wife, which includes excerpts from Mazur’s four previous books, as well as twenty-two new poems, is epitomized by the worldly longing of the title poem, with its searching poignancy and comic bravura. Mazur’s explorations of “this fallen world, this loony world” are deeply moving acts of empathy by a singular moral sensibility—evident from the earliest poem included here, the much-anthologized “Baseball,” a stunning bird’s-eye view of human foibles and passions. Clear-eyed, full of paradoxical griefs and appetites, her poems brave the most urgent subjects—from the fraught luscious Eden of the ballpark, to the fragility of our closest human ties, to the implications for America in a world where power and war are cataclysmic for the strong as well as the weak.