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The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems, 1972-1995
     

The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems, 1972-1995

by Michael Palmer
 
The Lion Bridge, Selected Poems 1972-1995 offers for the first time a comprehensive view of Michael Palmer's extraordinary poetry. Dense and haunting, analytic and lyrical, classical and profoundly avant-garde, Palmer's work has a matchless beauty, difficult to describe: as Common Knowledge remarked, "Even more than its music, it emanates silence." The poet himself

Overview

The Lion Bridge, Selected Poems 1972-1995 offers for the first time a comprehensive view of Michael Palmer's extraordinary poetry. Dense and haunting, analytic and lyrical, classical and profoundly avant-garde, Palmer's work has a matchless beauty, difficult to describe: as Common Knowledge remarked, "Even more than its music, it emanates silence." The poet himself has culled the 118 poems of The Lion Bridge from his great body of work. This generous chronological selection includes individual poems, selections from serial poems, and two complete serial poems. Together the poems form a bridge, a kind of work-biography which takes a long look at an extraordinary achievement and gives a new view of a body of work as the poet himself wishes it to be seen. It also rescues from limbo so much material that has gone out of print. The Lion Bridge presents work from seven of his books: Blake's Newton, The Circular Gates, Without Music, Notes for Echo Lake, First Figure, Sun, and At Passages.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Palmer has long and rightly been considered the most lyrical, and the most aurally accomplished, among poets in the experimental tradition of Louis Zukofsky and Gertrude Stein; this selection spanning his career restores to print much of his influential work from the 1980s. Palmer traffics in paradoxical series of statements that challenge the limits of meaning: "the false sky has never been this blue." He invents semi-characters like "Brother Mouse with his parachute in mid-air"; conjures places called "Passages" and "Desire"; and unrolls meta-recursive titles: "Here the poem is called Theory of the Real, its name is Let's Call This, and its name is called A Wooden Stick. It goes yes-yes, no-no." Palmer (who is also a choreographer), seeks to substitute analytical, dancelike pleasures for the description and mimesis we expect from older poetry. His best poems highlight comic, vivid images"our word-balloon, you will note, is slowly/ rising over the parched city" and interrupt themselves with human cries: "Each evening there's a poppy in my brain/ which closes before dawn/ Whatever happened then will not happen again/ Please move my arm." Palmer is sometimes classed with the West Coast's language poets, but his European influences, his delightful poems for children and his sometime mysticism render that label insufficient. His best work, for all its abstracted puzzles, has something to show anyone who wants to know where poetry might go next, or where its fringes have been. (June)
Library Journal
Is he a Language poet? Palmer is as rigorously inventive as his Language peers, but the personal and political lurk here, too. His polished surfaces and linguistic experiments can be daunting, but this comprehensive collection of his work gives readers a way to approach them, revealing just how innovative he can be.
The Village Voice
"One of the most influential writers in recent years, he fuses contemporary concerns about syntax and meaning production with some very ancient poetic pleasures."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811213837
Publisher:
WW Norton Client
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Palmer (1942-2013) was a physician and bestselling writer of medical thrillers. One of his best-known books, Extreme Measures (1991), was turned into a movie starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Gene Hackman. He is alleged to have decided to try to write a book after reading a medical thriller by a fellow Wesleyan graduate, and thinking "If he could do it, why couldn’t I?" His books have been translated into more than 30 languages.

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