One of the things I find so striking in A Book of Witness is the resurgence, and I do mean surge, of the I, the acute ego-instrument that perceives, litmuses the world. How dissed and dismissed this tool has been in recent years, and how precisely Rothenberg deploys it now, forcing us to realize that witness happens in/to someone. This is something we've been struggling with for years, to keep the tool keen without dulling by biography, confession, concern. To invent the self anew each time is also, in a way of speaking, a witness. (Though I say that softly, so as not to weaken the force of witness.)
—Robert Kelly

A landmark collection by one of America's leading avant-gardists.

A Book Of Witness

Poetry by Jerome Rothenberg

A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-Gris is Jerome Rothenberg’s passage from one century––one millennium––to another. Of the one hundred poems that comprise the book, the first half were written in 1999, the second in the two years that followed. But far more than a marker of era-shifting, this collection reestablishes the primacy of the poetic “I,” not in the sense of a confessional, personal voice, but of the grammatical first person as both a singular witness and conduit for others––a kind of prophecy. Often incantatory, the poems in A Book of Witness are a reaffirmation of self in the face of history’s darknesses, a shout for life against an indifferent universe.

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Paperback (published April 1, 2003)

ISBN
9780811215374
Price US
15.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
128

Jerome Rothenberg

Contemporary American poet

One of the things I find so striking in A Book of Witness is the resurgence, and I do mean surge, of the I, the acute ego-instrument that perceives, litmuses the world. How dissed and dismissed this tool has been in recent years, and how precisely Rothenberg deploys it now, forcing us to realize that witness happens in/to someone. This is something we've been struggling with for years, to keep the tool keen without dulling by biography, confession, concern. To invent the self anew each time is also, in a way of speaking, a witness. (Though I say that softly, so as not to weaken the force of witness.)
—Robert Kelly