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Letters of the Law

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Sarah Charlesworth (Cover Art) Los Angeles, CA 1994 Trade Paperback 1st Edition, 1st Printing Like New Academic, Scholarly, Research. 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. 121 pp. Clean, fresh ... copy with very minor shelf wear on front and back cover, crisp pages and clean text. Read more Show Less

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Sun & Moon Press, 05/01/2000, Paperback, Signed Copy Collectible - Like New. Signed/Inscribed by author on title page.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When a visionary poet aspires to express inherently indescribable mystical experiences, as does Mandel in this intricate collection, readers can only hope to follow him to ``the upper world.'' In complex poems of religious incantation, Mandel introduces us to cosmic riddling, suggesting that ``The cosmos like commerce is paratactic.'' His poems are grave, circuitous journeys toward truth, knowledge, eternity--journeys reaffirming that truth is not simple, that ``truth too is multiple / a contradictory matter of possibilities.'' He creates a style as elaborate as his subject, and poems such as ``Ramah'' interweave narratives, divine injunctions, prayers, queries and quotations in a stylistically vital manner. Mandel's philosophical tenor rings in a rarefied atmosphere; his poetic epigrams resound convincingly; and his imagery strikes one as undeniably lovely. Nonetheless, this collection as a whole is maddeningly evasive. Readers must believe him when he warns: ``A trampoline of constructions / locks into the speech I tread on, / describing what you read inside / and outside.'' (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557131645
  • Publisher: Sun & Moon Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1994
  • Series: New American Poetry Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.01 (w) x 7.47 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Mandel grew up in Chicago and was educated in its jazz and blues clubs and at the University of Chicago where he studied on the Committee on Social Thought with Hannah Arendt and Saul Bellow. He has lived in New York, Paris, San Francisco and Washington DC, and now resides in a small town on the Atlantic coast. He has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois and San Francisco State University (where he was Director of the Poetry Center). He has also been a consultant, marketing executive and entrepreneur. Tom Mandel has published in dozens of newspapers, literary journals and anthologies, including the influential In the American Tree and The Norton Anthology of Post-Modern Verse. His books include: Ency, Erat, Ready to Go, Realism, Central Europe, Some Appearances, Three Strange Books, Letters of the Law, The Prospect of Release, Absence Sensorium (a collaboration with Daniel Davidson), and Ancestral Cave.

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Table of Contents

The Man Who Shot the Other Man 9
Foreign Gender 13
Poussin 17
Contents of the Cube 20
Vienna Circle 23
Feelings, Foreign 26
Furnishings 28
Gravity & Grace 31
Ut Pictura Poesis 34
To Music (From Memory) 40
A Garment 47
Five Spells 48
Marble Flames of the Sixth Palace 52
Nomina Barbara 57
Ramah 59
Seattle Sepharadi 74
Between Past and Future 78
Notes on the Law 83
The Manner Acted 88
No Takers 99
Open Rebuke, Concealed Love 106
Communication Through Hints 113
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