Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire

Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire

by Diane Ackerman

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060199883
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of many highly acclaimed works of nonfiction, including A Natural History of the Senses — a book beloved by readers all over the worldand the volumes Deep Play, A Slender Thread, The Rarest of the Rare, A Natural History of Love, The Moon by Whale Light, and a memoir on flying, On Extended Wings.

Her poetry has been collected into six volumes, among them Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems and, most recently, Praise My Destroyer.

Ms. Ackerman has received many prizes and awards, including the John Burroughs Nature Award and the Lavan Poetry Prize. A Visiting Professor at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, she was the National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professor at the University of Richmond. Ms. Ackerman also has the unusual distinction of having had a molecule named after her — dianeackerone. She lives in upstate New York.

Read an Excerpt

Letter to Dr. B --

I have found you among the texts
(but not the textures) of your life,
in the library of your cunning,
where the abstracts of forty papers
open, one by one, like small windows
partly sealed by terminology's lacquer.
They reveal you both aloof and enthralled,
a restless mind of intersecting planes.

How can I resist the paper "Artist and Analyst"?
Yet I do, thinking it best to stay
within the frame we've chosen,
using the palette we invent,
creating a mosaic in motion.
Whenever I set a shard in place,
the mosaic evolves, blurs a moment,
then a new scene refines, throwing past into relief,
drawing present into mind.

So I will sacrifice my yen to know
the what and whim of you. Though my curiosity
is swelling like a Magellanic Cloud
filled with a luminous starfield of questions,
I'll sacrifice them on the altar of our ineffable
cause. A padded altar. A cause quilted with passion,
and insight whose razors cut clean as thrill.
A sacrifice intoxicating as any pill.

Pandora's Sunday Morning

You appear in darkness,
like the slowly forming crystals
of remembered thought,
eyelessly, where the brain paints
neon brush strokes
and phantoms prowl
among symbols of unrest.

While I am treading the fragile catwalk
between sleep and wakefulness,
you appear without your glasses
out in your usual chair.
I sit across from you in a floral dress.
The air trembles
with the thick smoke of emotion
as, sitting quite still,
I struggle hard towards you:
an elation like love and not likelove,
a waking trance for two
powered by the interplay
of heart and mind
harnessed to work in unison.

I also sense danger alive
as the arms of a great river
closing on the soft embankments
of my life, muscling into sanity.
I have no word for this tug-of-war
whose silk rasps fiery knots
through my ribs. The verb lies somewhere
between tempt and fear.
It is not like a moaning,
but urgent as tears. I imagine
you can hear it humming in my bones.

Origami Bridges. Copyright © by Diane Ackerman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
SarahJo4110 More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost every poem in this collection misses the mark. It is very self indulgent and self flatering, an almost 'Look, I understand myself and that makes what I write very important.' It could be true that someone with honest and deep self knowledge does have something to say to all of us, but she doesn't plumb that deeply, choosing instead to try to be our (the readers) every person, which no one ever is or can be. The last section is the best and has some nice moments, although if she had done one more poem on what it is to write a poem I may not have even finished. These are the types of poems written by teenagers being asked to express themselves. Interesting but soooo filled with hollow. 'Hands trembling,I type what's painful to admit:/ 'This is the last poem in my book.'/ The ghostly keys move, and he types: 'it isn't.'' I guess the 'he' is her muse. He should have stay quiet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another beautiful and profound collection of poems from Ackerman, one of her generation's most important poetic voices. The poems vary in tone, structure and intent, but underneath all is the poignant, sometimes sweet and often painful yearning to find our heart's center. A book to keep on the bedside table and go back to again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To my taste, and for my money, the cream of contemporary American poetry is the three women Mary Oliver, Pattiann Rogers, and most of all Diane Ackerman, also renowned for her melodic, phrase-making prose. Ackerman's new book of poems, startlingly personal for her, details a course of therapy she undertook, holding nothing back and casting familiar situations in unusual ways. It is a marvelous, profound, brilliant collection, as moving as authoritative, and an astute, tender account of what it feels like to have a first-rate mind in the presence of an enigmatic world. Ackerman is not exactly a philosopher, but her mind tends that way, and anyone in any kind of doubt about the world that kills us all off sooner or later had best consult Ackerman's candid poems, in which she burrows away into the old problems and the trickiness of traditional ways out. Continually she invites the discerning reader to share her problems, which she exposes with stunning, phrase-making gravity in this, in many ways the most heartfelt of her superb poetry books. She is a non pareil, to be lauded along with the best of poets of the ages-- Rilke, Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens. We are lucky to have her and the harmonies of her distinguished mind, the startling poise of her lines.