Alchemist with One Eye on Fire


National Book Award winning poet/author Clayton Eshleman's 14th collection of poetry and prose poems.

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National Book Award winning poet/author Clayton Eshleman's 14th collection of poetry and prose poems.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The 31 poems in Eshleman's 15th collection embrace the world from multiple perspectives: the earth seen from outer space; details in the watercolors of the artist Mary Heebner; the situation at 4:22 p.m. in Como, Italy, on October 23, 2004. It takes its title from the essay that opens the book, a rambling, at times inspired, often bitter take on the state of contemporary American poetry. Eshleman (see page 39 for his translation of Vallejo) is an exuberant, associative poet: sentences unfold over stanzas, lines spill past the right margin. Political poems take aim at Bush and the inequality of wealth, but also seek pure empathy to "look at something and,/ as we used to say, see it for itself." At his best, Eshleman is capacious and empathic, as in "Combined Object," which imagines his sleeping wife's mind as it makes "its way across the 40,000 mile mid-ocean ridge," carrying "in her trailing skirts,/ a web filled with tiny men, drowned islands, radiolarian ooze." Eshleman's desire to bring diverse disciplines together-prehistoric cave images and menstrual mythology, for instance-can produce enchanting results, making "poetry a space that two people can enter and relate through." He can, however, be as alienating as he is inviting. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976844952
  • Publisher: Commonwealth Books, Black Widow
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 109
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Clayton Eshleman was born in indinapolis in 1935. The author of more than 25 books, including 14 collections of poetry he is the recipient of the National Book Award, the Landon translation Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and several fellowships from the national Endowment of the Arts and Humanities. He resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
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Table of Contents

1 Nocturnal Veils 2 Pause 3 Life in the Folds 4 Still 5 Irish Jig 6 Yantra 7 An Enigmatic Signifer 8 Laura 9 Samperi’s Diagram 10 Cul-de-Sac 11 For Gustaf Sobin 12 ...Looking into Vermont Woods, at Tinlings... 13 Nora’s Transmission 14 Autumn 2004 15 Como—Bellagio 4:22 p.m. 16 Transformational Gradations 17 From a Terrace 18 One if by Land, None if by Void 19 Iraqi Morgue 20 A Question from Gerardo Deniz 21 A Ferocious Fold 22 Dead Reckoning 23 Minor Drag 24 Unbuckled Tongue 25 The Magical Sadness of Omar Caceres 26 Train Dream 27 Surveillant Veils 28 Improvisations o= Watercolors by Mary Heebner 29 Earth From Above 30 Wholesome 31 Combined Object 32 notes 33 acknowledgments 34 about the author
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