Body of the World / Edition 1

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Body of the World, Sam Taylor’s first book, is the work of a poet whose sense of what it means to be human is inseparable from the physical world, about which he writes with unnerving intimacy. The voice, while grounded in the familiar landscape of twenty-first-century America, is also transparent. It regards itself as integral to that place in time, so that to speak of the human mind and body is to speak of the world, just as perception of the world becomes perception of the physical and mental self: not himself, but the human self. Thus, his subject is the enduring mystery of consciousness in all its embodiments: memory, the rain, a credit card, death, an air conditioner, the scent of eucalyptus. His language is like granite, a substance unto itself yet at home in the flux. As we enter what the poet has called elsewhere “a global age of distance-less information and virtual experience,” Body of the World is a necessary book.

Oh the body in its bedouin sleep. Always awake,
always walking blocks of city scaffolding,
always wrapped in rain, hot cocoa, cinnamon.
Always a curled embryo, always a curved umbrella,
always the handle of an unknown suitcase,
always the echo that will not fit inside a cathedral. Always a brief April.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and a former Michener Fellow in the MFA program at The University of Texas at Austin, Sam Taylor is a poet, nonfiction writer, and yoga teacher. His poems have appeared in numerous publications and received The Florida Review Editor’s Award in Poetry in 2002. He splits his time between teaching English at The University of New Mexico-Taos and as a caretaker for a wilderness refuge in the San Juan Mountains during its snowed-in winter months.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931337267
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A graduate of Swarthmore College and former Michener Fellow in the MFA Program at University of Texas, his poems have appeared in numerous publications, and received the Florida Review Editor's Poetry 2002 Poetry Prize. He splits his time teaching at UNM-Taos and caretaking for a snowbound wilderness refuge.
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Table of Contents

Surfacing 1
Arc 2
Realism : a landscape of the body 4
Wedding song 6
The lost world 8
John 3:16 10
Hologram 12
Anonymous 13
Accident 17
The shore 20
Matinee 22
Sonnet in A minor 25
Sunday morning 26
Here in the mountains 29
For love 30
After Charon : a late aubade 31
Background 33
Human geography 36
Brief, accidental orchestras 40
Original sin 42
Postscript 47
The gospel of J 48
Waking with Chloe 51
Basics (I/400th shutter speed) 53
The undressing room 55
Next 59
Shifting ambiguities of soil 61
Rain 69
Walking 70
Coda : for whom the bell tolls 72
Source 73
Notes to organic knowing 75
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005


    Body of the World offers one of the most urgent and exciting poetic visions I have encountered in a long time. I don't know where Sam Taylor came from, but his poems contain an intensity I typically find only in poets from other countries. This book is the real thing, and reading it is a powerful, transformative experience.

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