Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems 1978-2008

Overview

Drawing upon four decades of his poetry, and beginning with an ample selection of new work, Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2008 demonstrates Bin Ramke’s ability to bring a cornucopia of human knowledge to bear upon the individual’s most intimate experiences and most compelling encounters with the world. Whether Mr. Ramke is writing about the exigencies of family life, the complex interrelations of people with environment, or the meaning of work, of health crises, of cultural upheaval, of natural ...
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Overview

Drawing upon four decades of his poetry, and beginning with an ample selection of new work, Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2008 demonstrates Bin Ramke’s ability to bring a cornucopia of human knowledge to bear upon the individual’s most intimate experiences and most compelling encounters with the world. Whether Mr. Ramke is writing about the exigencies of family life, the complex interrelations of people with environment, or the meaning of work, of health crises, of cultural upheaval, of natural disaster—he is able to draw upon an unprecedented range of social, scientific, literary, and philosophical sources. Such writing offers a lens of both telescopic and microscopic precision, and deepens our understanding of how intricately collaged is each instance of human existence.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Ramke] is the rare poet who seems to become more himself with each new book, rather than more like an imitation of himself. . . . And the new poems here are among Ramke's best."  —Publishers Weekly, starrred review

"He defies the conventions of both the traditional lyric and its antagonists."  —Chicago Review

"Ramke's poetry is nothing if not an attempt to find the lips and tongue of history."  —Double Room

"The translucent transience of life flowing has seldom been more poignantly and pertinently evoked. . . . He is our Heraclitus."  –John Ashbery, author, Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror

"It is [Ramke's] unflinching comparison of fault and perfection that makes his poems believable."  —Boston Review

Publishers Weekly
Since winning the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1978, Ramke has steadily released strong and strange books of poetry. He is the rare poet who seems to become more himself with each new book, rather than more like an imitation of himself. Nonetheless, perhaps due to the difficulty of much of his work, Ramke has remained a poet's poet. This much-needed and compact selection from his nine previous books serves as a helpful introduction to this poet, whose work straddles aesthetic camps one never knew shared borders—this is language poetry with a Southern twang, or experimental writing with clear, dire subject matter. From the stark clarity of his first poems (“the only horse/ we owned died on Christmas Eve”), Ramke has journeyed toward wholly original aesthetic ground on which his own often fragmentary words share the page, even the line, with passages from obscure texts, definitions, even mathematics. Yet even Ramke's oddest poems always keep a few subjects—fatherhood, knowledge of the self and the other, love, desire—at the forefront, wishing, at times, “To kiss. To move/ mouth against mouth.” And the new poems here are among Ramke's best. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890650414
  • Publisher: Omnidawn Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

BIN RAMKE, former editor of a book series for the University of Georgia Press, current editor of the Denver Quarterly and holder of the Phipps Chair in English at the University of Denver, studied mathematics in college before turning to poetry. He continues to see similar patterns arising from language and mathematics in all aspects of human consciousness and human behavior. But his childhood in rural Louisiana and Texas is also a part of the central concerns and beauty that his work tries to engage. Ramke has written nine previous poetry collections.
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