From the Book of Giants

From the Book of Giants

by Joshua Weiner

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                        for Thom Gunn

There is no east or west

in the wood you fear and seek,

stumbling past a gate of moss

and what you would not take.

And what you thought you had

(the Here that is no rest)

you make from it an aid

to form no east, no west.

No east.  No west.  No need

for given map or bell,

vehicle, screen, or speed.

Forget the house, forget the hill.

Taking its title from a set of writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, From the Book of Giants retunes the signal broadcast from these ancient fragments, transmitting a new sound in the shape of a Roman drain cover, in imitations of Dante and Martial, in the voice of a cricket and the hard-boiled American photographer Weegee, in elegies both public and personal, and in poems that range from the social speech of letters to the gnomic language of riddles. Out of poetry’s “complex of complaint and praise,” Joshua Weiner discovers, in one poem, his own complicity in Empire during his son’s baseball game at the White House. In another, an embroidered parrot sings a hermetic nursery rhyme to an infant after 9/11.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226890517
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Series: Phoenix Poets
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 88
File size: 154 KB

About the Author

Joshua Weiner,winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland and the author of The World’s Room, also published by the University of Chicago Press.  He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents



Bocca della Verità

Dante: To Guido Cavalcanti


Elegy: Reading Dugan in Rome

Hanging Mobile

National Pastime


Postcard to Thom

Found Letter





Vita Nuova


Weegee: Coney Island Beach after Midnight

In the Country

Games for Someone

The Bed


Song for Staying

Out of Range







Lament from the Book of Giants


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