Floating City: Selected Poems, 1978-1996

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Poetry. "The precision and ordered intelligence of Geoffrey O'Brien's essays are turned inside out in the dream landscapes of his poetry. The result is a kind of spectral tapestry where words and images are stripped to their own inherent valence and deeper codings the better to hunt down resemblances and resolutions. The effects are mysterious, hypnotic, often breathtaking, and, I think, unique in American poetry"-August Kleinzahler.
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Overview


Poetry. "The precision and ordered intelligence of Geoffrey O'Brien's essays are turned inside out in the dream landscapes of his poetry. The result is a kind of spectral tapestry where words and images are stripped to their own inherent valence and deeper codings the better to hunt down resemblances and resolutions. The effects are mysterious, hypnotic, often breathtaking, and, I think, unique in American poetry"-August Kleinzahler.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Known primarily for his critical studies like Dreamtime (Viking, 1988) and Phantom Empire (LJ 9/1/93), O'Brien offers here his first major collection of poetry. The "city" O'Brien describes is a mental edifice, a potent place where myth and poetry spontaneously appear: "In the empty sky/ they see the shape of stanzas." This preoccupation with the self-generating quality of language is the major theme of the book, expressed in graphic images and "mental telegrams": the "mortar mix/ of sung words" is always repairing the gaps in reality; even the "bushes crack with language." O'Brien delights in alliteration, "the fur, the fire/ the far shore," and in lists: "dogs, egg-forms, goat hoofs, ink-jars." With its echoes of Stevens and Ashbery, this collection will convince its readers that "there is no substitute for poetry." Recommended for all large collections.Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Findlay, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883689384
  • Publisher: Talisman House, Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Lives of the Poets 1
Arsene Lupin 9
Maciste in the Valley of the Pagans 15
Ancients 30
John of Leyden 43
Scroll 61
Europe 66
The Poetry of the Policeman 69
The Prophetic Child 71
Waltz of the Assassins 73
Meeting at Midnight 75
The Reply 75
The Museum of Modern Literature 77
Haruspex 81
Fred Astaire in the Wilderness 84
People of the Desert 86
Marginalia 88
The Interior Prisoner 90
Theory of Climate 96
Radio Elegy 101
The Hunt 112
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