By John Hollander
A wonderful new assortment from one among our so much extraordinary poets.
Here are poems that discover the ways that traditional items open doorways to the extra hidden, unconscious truths of our internal selves: a fowl of “countless colors” calls to brain “the echo . . . / of an internal occasion / From my forgotten past”; a subway bee sting evokes quickly not likely visits via the muses—a temporary wisdom that's “as a lot of a / reward from these 9 sisters as / Is ever given.”
Other poems lay naked the imperfect nature of our thoughts: fact altered through our necessarily much less exact yet maybe “truer” remember of earlier occasions (“memory— / As jam-packed with random holes as any / Uncleaned window is of spots / Of blur and dimming—begins instantaneously / To interfere”). nonetheless others learn the dramatic alterations in standpoint we endure over the process a life-time as, within the poem “When We Went Up,” John Hollander describes the numerous responses he has to mountaineering a similar mountain at assorted issues in his life.
In all the poems Hollander illuminates the fluid nature of actual and emotional event, the connections among the straightforward issues we come upon on a daily basis and the ways that the that means we characteristic to them shapes our lives. just like the harmonious coming jointly of bandstand tools on a summer time afternoon, he writes, such a lot of what we come to grasp on the planet is “A loss of life second / Of lastingness thenceforth / Ever to not be.”
Throughout this thought-provoking assortment, Hollander unearths the ways that we're regularly growing specific worlds of our personal, “a draft of light” of our personal making, and the way those worlds, in flip, regularly form our most simple identities and truest selves.
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Extra resources for A Draft of Light: Poems
The act of seeing, now technologically mediated, produces a new form of self-alienation. The speaker sees himself as other, most grotesquely in Randall Jarrell’s famous “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” where he has already died, his remains “washed out of the turret with a hose” (Shapiro 2003: 88). Less luridly, James Dickey in “The Firebombing” sees himself as another person, only partially recognizable: some technical-minded stranger with my hands Is sitting in a glass treasure-hole of blue light Having potential ﬁre under the undeodorized arms Of his wings (Shapiro 2003: 153) while William Stafford writes of dropping bombs 18 Wars I Have Seen from ﬁve miles high, the ﬂower of smoke and ﬁre so far there is no sound.
The Oppens: Remarks Towards Biography,” Ironwood, 26: 309–18. Mersmann, James F. (1974). Out of the Vietnam Vortex: A Study of Poets and Poetry Against the War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Merton, Thomas (1969). ), The Critique of War. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, pp. 99–119. Charles Olson (1970). The Special View of History. Berkeley: Oyez. Oppen, George (1974). “Non-resistance, etc. Or: Of the Guiltless,” East End, 3 (1): 5. — (1990). Selected Letters, ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis.
Stein is as suspicious of the ﬁrst person plural, the national “we,” as she is of what Malcolm Cowley had called the “spectatorial attitudes” of some of those who had written about World War I (Cowley 1934: 38). In Stein’s case, though, the “seeing” is 16 Wars I Have Seen being done by someone apparently immersed in domestic routine – “Yesterday,” she says, “I went my usual twelve kilometres to get some bread and cake” (p. 137) – but someone who is also able to reﬂect on the ways in which the present war has “put an end an entire end to the nineteenth century” (p.