Before There Was Before

Before There Was Before

by Wendy Drexler

Paperback

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Overview

Wendy Drexler’s Before There Was Before is that rare book that both ranges far, into the worlds of science, nature and art, and moves in close, examining her own particular human experience. Drexler takes us back in time to the Big Bang and projects us 7.5 billion years into the future. She thinks about birds and elephants, flies, beetles, crickets, chameleons. She imagines Monet and Cézanne, she listens to Schubert, looks closely at film, sculpture, paintings and photographs. The pressure of time and the consolations of intimacy, which animate these poems, carry over into the more personal poems, threading the wider vision to the tighter one. Relying always on carefully observed and imagined particulars, she parries the pressure of time with an insistence on living attentively. “Let’s take a stab / at the dark,” she says in the title poem. Let’s “time our tea, // if we have tea, / if we have time.” Drexler takes her stab at the dark, and we are all the better for it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604542394
Publisher: Iris Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2017
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

I

Before There Was Before • 13

If There’s Nothing • 16

Microbes • 17

Earth’s Soliloquy • 18

Necessity • 19

The Cave of Pech Merle • 20

I’m Reading Darwin • 21

Adam and Eve • 23

Considering Paradise • 24

Praisesong • 25

Fate and Chance • 26

At the National Archaeological Museum in Athens • 27

Out on the Plaza • 28

History Repeating • 29

Nazi Photograph • 30

Archangel • 31

The Life-Size Doll Made for Oskar Kokoschka • 32

Apples Burning Like Small Suns • 34

II

Photo of Serbian Women, circa 1920 • 39

All These Years • 40

Closing the Loop on the Year • 41

The Book of Apology • 42

The Elephants • 44

Chameleon • 45

The Birch • 46

Forbearance • 47

Too Much or Not Enough • 48

Relationship Theory • 49

What I’m Keeping • 50

The Fly • 51

My Granddaughter, Soon-to-Be Born • 52

Wandering in the Community Garden • 53

Listening to a Schubert Cello Sonata • 54

A Cricket Has Been Calling • 55

At Dunkin’ Donuts • 56

At Mount Auburn Cemetery • 57

On Buying a Postcard of Wheat Field with Cypresses by Van Gogh • 58

The Pear Tree on Woodford Street • 59

Still Life with Glasses and Tobacco • 60

Wild • 61

Light R48 on the Storrow Drive Underpass • 62

Shelter in Place • 63

Epithalamium • 64

Hydrangeas • 65

Love Poem for My Husband • 67

III

The Nine Fortunate Things • 71

The Birds of John J. Audubon • 72

At the Pavilion of Nature • 74

Exhibit of Victorian Hummingbird Jewelry • 75

At His Last Dinner Party, François Mitterrand Eats Two Ortolans • 76

At the Rumfish Restaurant • 78

Harbor • 79

Beetle • 80

Squirrel Eating the Milky Way • 81

A Dead Carp • 82

Fiddler Crabs • 83

Flock of Glossy Ibis • 84

The Whole Spent World Comes Rushing Back • 85

Notes • 87

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