Draft of a Letter
By (author) James Longenbach
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Draft of a Letter by James Longenbach
Book DescriptionFrom 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 DetailsISBN: 9780226492681
(215mm x 156mm x 6mm)
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, 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, Paperback (November 2005)» View all books by James Longenbach
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.
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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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