New Collected Poemsby George Oppen
“Michael Davidson has done a masterful job of editing this new edition of the Collected Poems.... Few poets significantly alter and enhance the state of the art. Oppen is one of them.”—Michael Palmer, BookforumSee more details below
“Michael Davidson has done a masterful job of editing this new edition of the Collected Poems.... Few poets significantly alter and enhance the state of the art. Oppen is one of them.”—Michael Palmer, Bookforum
18 March 18 2002
Read an Excerpt
The knowledge not of sorrow, you were
saying, but of boredom
Isaside from reading speaking
Of what, Maude Blessingbourne it was,
wished to know when, having risen,
"approached the window as if to see
what really was going on";
And saw rain falling, in the distance
The road clear from her past the window-glass
Of the world, weather-swept, with which
one shares the century.
White. From the
Under arm of T
The red globe.
From the quiet
Stone floor ...
Of Frigidaire, of
Plane of lunch, of wives
(As soda-jerking from
the private act
The evening, water in a glass
Thru which our car runs on a higher road.
Over what has the air frozen?
Nothing can equal in polish and obscured
origin that dark instrument
Ease; the hand on the sword-hilt
Her ankles are watches
(Her arm-pits are causeways for water)
When she steps
She walks on a sphere
Walks on the carpet, dressing.
Brushing her hair
Her movement accustomed, abstracted,
Declares this morning a woman's
"My hair, scalp."
The three wide
Funnels raked aft, and the masts slanted
Deck-hand slung in a bosun's chair
Works on this 20th century chic and
Not evident at "The Sailor's Rest."
Excerpted from New Collected Poems by George Oppen. Copyright © 2002 by Linda Oppen. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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