Draft of a Letter by James Longenbach
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Draft of a Letter
By James Longenbach

Draft of a Letter

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Format: Paperback

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Draft of a Letter by James Longenbach

Book Description

From the Second Draft: What other people learn From birth, Betrayal, I learned late. My soul perched On an olive branch Combing itself, Waving its plumes. I said Being mortal, I aspire to Mortal things. I need you, Said my soul, If you're telling the truth. "Draft of a Letter" is a book about belief - not belief in the unknowable but belief in what seems bewilderingly plain. Pondering the bodies we inhabit, the words we speak, these poems discover infinitude in the most familiar places. The revelation is disorienting and, as a result, these poems talk to themselves, revise themselves, fashioning a dialogue between self and soul that opens outward to include other voices, lovers, children, angels, and ghosts. For James Longenbach, great distance makes the messages we send sweeter. To be divided from ourselves is never to be alone. "If the kingdom is in the sky," says the body to the soul, "Birds will get there before you." "In time," says the awakening soul, "I liked my second/Body better/Than the first." To live, these poems insist, is to arise every day to the strange magnificence of the people and places we thought we knew best. "Draft of a Letter" is an unsettled and radiant paradiso, imagined in the death-shadowed, birth-haunted middle of a long life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226492681
ISBN-10: 0226492680
Format: Paperback
(215mm x 156mm x 6mm)
Pages: 64
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 27-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author James Longenbach

Iron Key by James Longenbach Iron Key, Paperback (June 2012)

"The world in these poems, rendered from memory on a mythic tide, is at once palpable and numinous." -On the Seawall

Resistance to Poetry by James Longenbach Resistance to Poetry, Paperback (November 2005)

A skilled study in which each chapter brings a fresh perspective to a crucial aspect of poetry, showing that the power of language depends less on meaning than on the way in which it means. The author argues that poetry is its own best enemy.

» View all books by James Longenbach


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Author Biography - James Longenbach

James Longenbach is the Joseph Henry Gilmore Professor of English at the University of Rochester. He is the author of The Resistance to Poetry and Fleet River, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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