The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems, 1972-1995

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 ...
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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.
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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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811213837
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,410,532
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Palmer
Michael Palmer
MICHAEL PALMER is the author of fourteen previous novels of medical suspense, all international bestsellers. In addition to his writing, Palmer is an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency. He lives in eastern Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

Its Form 3
Speech (Across Time) 4
Holy Tuesday 5
A Reasoned Reply to Gilbert Ryle 6
For L.Z. 7
Figure 8
A Vitruvian Figure 9
Prose 9 10
This is difficult but not impossible: coffee 15
Men without arms their heads in a box 16
The heron is riding 17
To learn what to say to unlearn 21
The order of islands here 22
As if by saying "morning" on January 8th 23
In the Empire of Light 24
He stopped part way across the field to 25
Prose 22 29
Prose 31 30
Sonnet: Now I see them 31
The End of the Ice Age and Its Witnesses 35
Third Symmetrical Poem 37
Fourth Symmetrical Poem 39
Fifth Symmetrical Poem 41
For Voice 45
Tomb of Baudelaire 47
The Library Is Burning 50
Ninth Symmetrical Poem 51
Dance of the Bees (September) 52
On the Way to Language 53
Tenth Symmetrical Poem 55
Without Music 56
Crossing the Hill 57
The Meadow 58
The Comet 61
Notes for Echo Lake 1 62
Portrait Now Before Then 66
Notes for Echo Lake 2 68
Notes for Echo Lake 3 70
False Portrait of D.B. as Niccolo Paganini 73
To Robert E. Symmes 1933 76
Notes for Echo Lake 4 77
Notes for Echo Lake 5 80
Song of the Round Man 82
Seven Forbidden Words 84
Pre-Petrarchan Sonnet 85
Dear M 86
The Project of Linear Inquiry 88
Notes for Echo Lake 11 90
Symmetrical Poem: They were afraid of death 92
So the dark figure 93
Dearest Reader 97
Prelude 98
Lies of the Poem 99
Voice and Address 101
Lens 103
French for April Fools' 105
All those words we once used ... 110
The Theory of the Flower 111
Idem 1 114
Idem 2 120
Idem 3 122
Idem 4 123
Music Rewritten 125
The Village of Reason 127
I was talking to the Baroness 129
Sign 131
Book of the Yellow Castle 133
First Figure 135
This Time 137
As a Real House 138
Facades for Norma Cole 139
Of this cloth doll which 141
Yes in a circle 142
Fifth Prose 145
A hundred years ago I made a book 149
Words say, Misspell and misspell your name 150
Dear Lexicon, I died in you 151
Ideas aren't worth anything 152
A man undergoes pain sitting at a piano 154
You say 155
She says, Into the dark - 156
A word is coming up on the screen ... 158
I have answers to all your questions 159
Barely anything to say, everything said 160
Desire was a quotation from someone 162
I am an architect in Vienna 163
We will call today 164
Sun 167
Sun 191
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 1 199
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 2 200
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 3 201
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 4 202
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 5 203
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 6 204
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 7 205
"Letters to Zanzotto": Letter 8 207
H 211
Construction of the Museum 214
Untitled (April '91) 215
H 217
Wheel 219
Twenty-four Logics in Memory of Lee Hickman 220
"or anything resembling it" 221
Eighth Sky 225
Recursus 227
Erolog 230
Disclosures 232
Untitled (Far Away Near) 234
Untitled 236
Red Yellow Blue 238
Untitled (September '92) 239
Untitled (kN) 242
Untitled (March '93) 243
Under the Perseids 244
Far Away Near 246
Autobiography 249
Autobiography 2 (hellogoodby) 251
Index of Titles 253
Index of First Lines 257
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