Life Watch

Overview

Life Watch: A Circle of Ninety-One Nights is an ambitious sequence of -poems that begins in childhood, moves through Barnstone’s adult years, and returns to youth. The poems engage and reflect on the civil wars that the author found himself in the midst of, Mexican orphanages, the cafes and arts salons in Paris, and walking with Borges. As the circles of these poems widen, they gather many perspectives on a life watched.

Willis Barnstone has taught at universities in Greece and ...

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Overview

Life Watch: A Circle of Ninety-One Nights is an ambitious sequence of -poems that begins in childhood, moves through Barnstone’s adult years, and returns to youth. The poems engage and reflect on the civil wars that the author found himself in the midst of, Mexican orphanages, the cafes and arts salons in Paris, and walking with Borges. As the circles of these poems widen, they gather many perspectives on a life watched.

Willis Barnstone has taught at universities in Greece and Argentina and authored more than 40 books—poetry collections, poetry translations, philosophical and religious texts. The New Covenant, his literary translation of the New Testament, was published in 2001 (Riverhead Books).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929918362
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Series: American Poets Continuum Series , #77
  • Pages: 146
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Train to Paris 13
Gas lamp, 1893 14
In our life watch 15
Room of the orphans 17
Fixing the life watch 19
Again at the Denver airport, recalling Federico and my folks in 1929 in New York 20
Back in 1901 23
Father 25
A child's Christmas in Manhattan 27
Our New York skyline in the 1930s, now on fire in September 28
Dashing north 29
Mother 30
Brother 32
Sister 33
With Zo in the botanical wood 34
The lost son (Luke 15.11-32) 35
Gold watch 36
Ikon 41
The postman in love 42
Companions of light 43
Zo near a Sifnos monastery 44
Vagrant 45
Drifting 46
Cloudy Sunday 48
Wartime cafe 49
With the blindman 50
In the beginning 53
Adam the surveyor 54
Aeneas 56
After the crucifixions of 4 BCE 57
Virgil 58
Seder in one of the odd rooms 59
Yeshua ben Yosef at the stake 60
Ophelia sings out 61
Spinoza in the Dutch Ghetto 62
Baudelaire suffering winter 63
Machado at his window 64
Daybreak with Jean-Louis Kerouac 65
Leopold and his lepers 67
Of Julio who almost kills me 68
When I die bury me with raw onions 71
Lapland 72
Ocean speech 73
Castillo negro 74
Black castle 76
Blue Tibet is very high 78
Waiting for the barbarians 79
Hanging from spikes, dropping to earth 81
If God had an apartment 82
The eleven commandments 83
Dancing with electrons 85
Secrets of the lonely 86
Talking to an orange 88
Russian and Spanish jail friends 89
Feeling his midnight arm 90
Evenings in Buenos Aires 93
Snow in the Dakotas 94
Her hands 95
Full moon over a two-note man 96
Night of an exquisite morning 97
A Czech wakes as a cockroach 98
Open the window and let the night come in with its perfect memory of streets 99
Beautiful movements 100
Rooftop 101
My family in brightness 102
Coffins of black 103
Thou among the wastes 104
First word 105
Night watch 109
On the Silk Road 110
Cafe de l'aube 112
Dawn cafe 113
Vincent on the toilet wall 114
In the broom closet 115
Memory house on Plato Street 116
The shtetl ghost 117
Blind date 119
When I die bury me with light ticking 120
Giving a watch life 123
A fool of sighs 124
Loneliness 125
PS I love you 126
Secret face of love 127
Wings of the morning 128
Feeling young 129
Sailor of the stars 131
At my funeral 133
When I die bury me in fire or earth 134
Memory is my ship 135
Train to Paris 136
Notes & Acknowledgments 138
About the Author 141
Colophon 144
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