[Brian Swann's] work enables us to begin to understand a world which is not merely a reflection of our anxieties and desires, but which is truly different in the signals it sends to us through other people and other entities.
In Late Light: Poemsby Brian Swann
There is a clearing by a certain stonewhere images flow and are worth stopping for. I have stayed there almost all day in silenceuntil night remembered what belonged to it and its shadows started to take back its own.I’ve found it hard to walk away as starlight infused daisies and the stone itself beganto feel like a star so, although what I have done with my… See more details below
There is a clearing by a certain stonewhere images flow and are worth stopping for. I have stayed there almost all day in silenceuntil night remembered what belonged to it and its shadows started to take back its own.I’ve found it hard to walk away as starlight infused daisies and the stone itself beganto feel like a star so, although what I have done with my life may not be much, for a whileit seemed to be in line.
The poems of In Late Light situate objects and experiences (both large and small, concrete and abstract) within Brian Swann’s perspective of the natural world. Sixty-two poems presented in four sections explore his lifefrom early days to the presentevoking friends and family on two continents. His sharp, bright imagery affirms the unique beauty of our world and explores its invisible mysteries.
Johns Hopkins University Press
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This various and vital collection in which articulate engagement with the sensual stuff of the natural world coexists with philosophic riffs on the meaning of night scents, stars, fireflies, and even family history is a brave, various, adventurous book that reveals with the tang of clear, immediate speech a poet in the fully earned maturity of his powers.
D. H. Lawrence’s feeling for families and Basil Bunting’s precision meet in these poems 'sharp as chipped chert or fer de lance.' A postwar English childhood and Catskill seasonal inventories frame a wiry, impish, affecting life review, rhythmically akin to the Italian poetry Swann has translated, and marking a personal summit. 'The mountain is a pattern that whirls.'
Brian Swann is a magnificent poet. His new book, In Late Light, is striking for its largeness. He discovers universal truths in a bird’s call, or in a remembered family scene, and he makes us perceive them as well. His style is lyrical, passionate yet restrained, immensely knowledgeable and yet attuned to common speech and always revelatory of the human heart.
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