On a Stair

Overview

Ann Lauterbach's fifth collection takes its title from Emerson's great essay, Experience: "Where do we find ourselves?" he asks. Lauterbach's stair sits precariously between a quest for spiritual vitality and a sense of the overwhelming materiality of our world. Identifying with the clown, the nomad and the thief figures whose ghostly marginality haunt this book, Lauterbach brings us, with a dazzling range of formal and imagistic resources, to a new understanding of how language inscribes the relationship between...

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On a Stair

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Overview

Ann Lauterbach's fifth collection takes its title from Emerson's great essay, Experience: "Where do we find ourselves?" he asks. Lauterbach's stair sits precariously between a quest for spiritual vitality and a sense of the overwhelming materiality of our world. Identifying with the clown, the nomad and the thief figures whose ghostly marginality haunt this book, Lauterbach brings us, with a dazzling range of formal and imagistic resources, to a new understanding of how language inscribes the relationship between self-knowledge and cultural meaning.

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Editorial Reviews

Krysia Jopek
On a Stair offers serious poetry for a reader willing to wander through dense and rich language that maps ideas about poetics...[It] presents a poet dedicated to rupturing and expanding the tradition of the lyric by culling the absent, the particular, the human, and the nostalgia for the divine with a daring dedication to experimental rhythm, form, emotion, sound, and language.... [Lauterbach is] dedicated to the nuance, texture, and gesture of the twenty-six characters of the alphabet carved into text and aesthetic time that repeat ad infinitum if readers of poetry come to the wells with a desire to keep drinking in the letters, syllables, and rhythms to learn about oneself, the human condition, the human impulse to create art and meaning, and the excitement of language (and) poetry pushed to new thresholds. -- American Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140587937
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/11/1997
  • Series: Poets, Penguin Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Lauterbach is Ruth and David Schwab III Professor of Language and Literature at Bard College. Her work has received fellowship support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation. She has published six collections of poetry, including If in Time: Selected Poems 1975-2000.

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Table of Contents

On A Stair A Valentine for Tomorrow Nocturnal Reel Bramble Portrait Figure without Ground Poem of the Landscape
On (Tower)
Night Barrier Poise on Row Sequence with Dream Objects in Real Time Blake's Lagoon Free Fall
On (Word)
On (Open)
A Clown, Some Colors, A Doll, Her Stories, A Song, A Moonlit Cove
On (Thing)
On (Dream)
The Return of Weather Staircase A History Lesson Daylight Savings Time Delayed Elegy And The Question Of Poem with Last Line from Epictetus Here/This/There/That Auction
On
N/est Invocation

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