Edgewise

Edgewise

5.0 3
by Stuart Miller
     
 

In the poem "Edgewise," a rooftop encounter with a determined weed leads to a momentary vision of wilderness encroaching on domesticity. The struggle to make and hold a place for oneself amid the world's claims and counterclaims, to navigate among moving objects and not be displaced, is at the heart of many of the sixty-five poems in Stuart Miller's first

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Overview

In the poem "Edgewise," a rooftop encounter with a determined weed leads to a momentary vision of wilderness encroaching on domesticity. The struggle to make and hold a place for oneself amid the world's claims and counterclaims, to navigate among moving objects and not be displaced, is at the heart of many of the sixty-five poems in Stuart Miller's first collection.

The vantage points are many. In "Home," a child hears the buried disjunction of his parents' lives in his mother's curse and his father's idle whistling. In "Madeleine," a new arrival from Cuba enters the classroom like a guided missile, blowing up the numbing routines of her fellow students. "Shadowline" summons the memory of a dark, quiet neighborhood—now hot real estate—whose "lone police car / checking a break-in. Its hoodlight / strobing dead space" has given way to "flashlit faces, / crowding past orange squares / of neon and nylon." In "Port of Entry," an expectant immigrant to America, boiling his egg, is cautioned that he's headed for a world "of noise and names, / changed and familiar. / Your open door. Your prison."

In the end, however, these poems are not weighted toward contingency and flux. They are pitched on relatedness, connection. They are themselves locations, lineaments of firm ground. What alternative world could we inhabit, after all? As the subway rider in another poem recognizes: "If you see through everything, / you'll see nothing but ghosts."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780974973302
Publisher:
Other Islands Press
Publication date:
12/06/2011
Pages:
79
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Suzanne Noguere
Miller's sensibility is attuned to being alive in the everyday, often in those moments and places where we find ourselves between the grand events of our lives. Mortality and love run through these pitch-perfect poems; and some, like "Dream," "Years Ago," "The Visitor," "Double Portrait," and "Montevideo," take us to places we have never been.
Daniel Halpern
The poems in Edgewise attest to a particular world, a world carefully experienced. Miller's willingness to make himself available to what lies before him allows for a striking clarity of observation—and his voice, through the sounds of his lines, resonates beyond the closure of his poems.
Michael O'Brien
"Edgewise" is how one gets a word in when the world's too full of its own blather and din to listen. Stuart Miller's poems listen very carefully, and in the quietest way they give us back what's overlooked or forgotten in the rush of things. Much tenderness in them, much amused regard, much sorrow. They reclaim what we miss—both what we've lost and what we've muffed. Meticulous and clear-sighted, they go about their work with a precise art that never nags you with its brilliance, for their eye is on the world.

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Meet the Author

Stuart Miller was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Columbia University. He is the editor of two books, Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats and Essays and Sketches of Mark Twain. He lives in Brooklyn.

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