Letters of the Law

Letters of the Law

by Tom Mandel

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.)

Product Details

Sun & Moon Press
Publication date:
New American Poetry Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.01(w) x 7.47(h) x 0.32(d)

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