Restless Messengers: Poems by Norman Finkelstein

Restless Messengers: Poems by Norman Finkelstein

by Norman H. Finkelstein
     
 

From the chamber music of Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms, to the children's literature of the Arabian Nights, Grimm's fairy tales, and Kenneth Grahame, to the 'high Jewish modernism' of Kafka, Isaac Babel, and Bruno Schulz, the poems in Restless Messengers wander, discovering the lyric moment.Cast in a form reminiscent of the Romantic ode, these poems are passionate…  See more details below

Overview

From the chamber music of Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms, to the children's literature of the Arabian Nights, Grimm's fairy tales, and Kenneth Grahame, to the 'high Jewish modernism' of Kafka, Isaac Babel, and Bruno Schulz, the poems in Restless Messengers wander, discovering the lyric moment.Cast in a form reminiscent of the Romantic ode, these poems are passionate engagements with other works through which the poet seeks a voice that encompasses but transcends the personal. A braiding of remembrance and forgetting, these poems revive both childhood memories and the ideals of the poet's Jewish heritage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection supplies numerous images of an insinuating messenger like Kafka's Barnabas who is cited in the epigraph to the volume and again in a poem that bears his name as its title. His message about the ephemeral nature of experience informs the entire text: ``There are so many poignant evaporations, / as the solid house, the sturdy tree, / the hammock cocoon of delightful rest / come to a term and pass.'' But other messengers are also addressed here: authors, composers and figures from literature (Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Bruno Schulz, Janusz Korczak, Schubert, the brothers Grimm). They are representatives of what Finkelstein ( The Utopian Moment in Contemporary American Poetry ) calls ``the living structure of memory,'' the non-quotidian universe that doesn't fade or contract or tarnish. Much of the collection has been inspired by works of literature or art and this gives the poems a rich texture. Many of them are shaped in the irregular ode form, which is visually pleasing although at times it seems inappropriate and the words fall with a thud. In general the poems are intellectually provocative and the best ones, such as the opening verse, ``A Poem for the Little Shoemakers,'' retain a sense of mystery. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820313795
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
02/01/1992
Series:
Contemporary Poetry Ser.
Pages:
88

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