House Crossing is a book of 32 poems about where we live or, more properly, dwell, with each poem entitled by a different attribute of domestic architecture as it is commonly known: Cupola, eaves, attic, beams, etc. Such might lend itself to description, but--reminiscent in part of Ronald Johnson's oeuvre (The Foundations, The Spires and The Ramparts)--in the vision of poet and scholar Laurie Patton each component becomes alive to an actuality beyond physical construct: The poetics of how we hold our ground, even if it is in flux--or as she writes, "A river runs... below the house." The instigation for this poetic cycle is Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, with this collection a homage to that classic phenomenological analysis. As she writes in her introduction, House Crossing arose as "a straightforward observation about the endurance of Bachelard’s work: if a poetics is good enough, and I believe Bachelard’s is, then it does not only comment on poetry, but can give rise to poetry as well." What Patton gives rise to is in part an opportunity for us each to live more evocatively in our days and nights in each our own place, building a being, as "Noah's ark stands / at the end of our hallway."
|Publisher:||Barrytown/Station Hill Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
Laurie L. Patton is author or editor of nine books on religion, mythology, and literature. Her most recent books of poems are Angel's Task: Poems in Biblical Time (Station Hill) and Fire’s Goal: Poems from the Hindu Year, which was named a Publisher’s Weekly Pick of the Month in 2003. She has also translated the Bhagavad Gita for the Penguin Press Classics Series (2008). She has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Foundation in Israel, the Fulbright Foundation in India, and the Goldwasser Fund for Religion and the Arts. The former Dean of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, she is currently President of Middlebury College.
With due reverence for “the forms of our dwelling,” and with exhilarating recourse to a range of intellectual architectures, Laurie Patton has made for us an elegant home, an expansive construction occasioning, educing, sheltering our meaning-making.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A deeply moving and stirring collection of poems about houses and homes inspired by Gaston Bachelard's 1958 classic, THE POETICS OF SPACE. Reading poetry is something that arose earlier this past year for me; I'm relatively new to the genre, but oh, how I adore lyrical writing in all forms. That said, reviewing a work poetry is entirely new to me, so please forgive if I fail to do so in a proper manner. Houses, homes, dwellings...they all have a mystical experience for me. They may be composed of timber and hardware, plaster and bricks and glass, but they hold truths deeper and darker still. A house may live only once, but it encompasses many lives. HOUSE CROSSING (Stationtown, May 2018) is a "simple poetry of houses," as Laurie Patton says. Ultimately, she was inspired by the "geometry of intimacy" in such urbane, basic architecture--a corner, the end of a hallway, a window, the attic. While the 32 short poems in the collection are a study in brevity, they pack such a soft-focused punch, going deep and leaving the reader with a disquieting contemplation. Titles are simple, but oh how they had me swooning: eaves, cupola, well, demolition, grave. I don't mean to be glib when I say these poems are haunting. Patton's work seems to dwell in the white space, the what-might-have-been. One reads the words and imagines a scene, but then the mind takes over and sees an intimate potential that may vary person to person. She sees the structure and design in a home and that leads to order. Or disorder. And the writing is done with a melancholic tenderness I found quite profound and disarming. This collection truly spoke to me and encouraged--inspired--me to read more, to write even more--and also to seek out Gaston Bachelard's book. Those enjoy this collection, may also enjoy other books about home (though not exactly poetry): STARTER HOUSE (Sonja Condit), THE WONDER GARDEN (Lauren Acampora), and BLACKBIRD HOUSE (Alice Hoffman). L.Lindsay Always with a Book