Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy by Keith Waldrop, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy

Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy

by Keith Waldrop
     
 

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This compelling selection of recent work by internationally celebrated poet Keith Waldrop presents three related poem sequences—"Shipwreck in Haven," "Falling in Love through a Description," and "The Plummet of Vitruvius"—in a virtuosic poetic triptych.
In these quasi-abstract, experimental lines, collaged words torn from their contexts take on new

Overview

This compelling selection of recent work by internationally celebrated poet Keith Waldrop presents three related poem sequences—"Shipwreck in Haven," "Falling in Love through a Description," and "The Plummet of Vitruvius"—in a virtuosic poetic triptych.
In these quasi-abstract, experimental lines, collaged words torn from their contexts take on new meanings. Waldrop, a longtime admirer of such artists as the French poet Raymond Queneau and the American painter Robert Motherwell, imposes a tonal override on purloined materials, yet the originals continue to show through. These powerful poems, at once metaphysical and personal, reconcile Waldrop's romantic tendencies with formal experimentation, uniting poetry and philosophy and revealing him as a transcendentalist for the new millennium.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Waldrop has long been a major force in American avant-garde poetics, and this substantial new volume is big news indeed. Comprising three sequences-each almost a book in itself-plus an epilogue, it is an extended philosophical meditation on what are, broadly, the major themes of all poetry: perception, the imagination, the body, and how the human inner life interacts with the larger world. In mostly short, jagged free verse pieces, Waldrop goes at these lofty concepts head-on in accessible, if cerebral, language. The speaker of the first sequence, itself composed of six sets of lyrics, lists and a longer poem, attempts to prove the claim that "I saw... everything/ that was happening on earth and can/ describe the hum of clouds." The second sequence is a set of discrete poems made up of sentence fragments and aborted thoughts that strive toward completion and correspondence: "Most suicides/ in May, June, July. Unusual/ heat drives most toward God. A/ cul-de-sac." The last is, again, a set of sets of poems, the most compelling of which, called "Carriage-a Transition-" pours lyric bursts down the page. The volume concludes with a longer poem called "Epilogue: Stone Angels" that meditates in a Rilkian mode on cemetery statues, which "are/ the opposite of perception: we/ bury our gaze in them." These poems are similarly entrancing. (Mar.)

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Bookforum
“These poems demand a certain reverence.”
Providence Sunday Journal
"A complex, absorbing work."
Poets & Writers Magazine
“Impressive.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520258785
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/02/2009
Series:
New California Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,250,661
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Waldrop has long been a major force in American avant-garde poetics, and this substantial new volume is big news indeed. . . . Entrancing." Starred Review—Publishers Weekly

"These poems demand a certain reverence."—Bookforum

"A complex, absorbing work."—Providence Sunday Journal

"Impressive."—Poets & Writers Magazine

Meet the Author

Keith Waldrop, Brooke Russell Astor Professor of Humanities at Brown University, has published more than a dozen works each of original poetry and translations. His first book, A Windmill Near Calvary, was shortlisted for the 1968 National Book Award. Recent books include The Real Subject: Queries and Conjectures of Jacob Delafon, with Sample Poems, The House Seen from Nowhere, and a translation of The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire.

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