Although often analyzed as a poetry of ideas—Wittgenstein in verse—Palmer’s is in fact intensely somatic, gestural…Always in Palmer one gets the feeling of the language trying to get outside by undoing itself, by unraveling the complex fabric of language to feel its threads, yes, but perhaps also to see through it to what is behind and beyond it …. ‘Did they really run out of things/or was it only the names for things/in that radical sublimity, that/daubed whiteness, final /cleansing and kindness perfect/snow or perfection of snow//leaving us peering at the bridge.’ At Passages leaves us peering at the bridge, at what we don’t yet know. But it has gotten us to the bridge, to a going-on. And in these cursed times, that is a singular achievement.

—David Levi Strauss, Nation

Available June 1, 1998

The Lion Bridge

Poetry by Michael Palmer

The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995 offers for the first time a comprehensive view of Michael Palmer’s extraordinary poetry. Dense and haunting, analytic and lyrical, classical and profoundly innovative, Palmer’s work possesses a singular beauty. As Robert Creeley has stated, “The confident brilliance of this writing makes possible a place where words initially engage their meanings—as if the edge of all ‘creations,’ of all ‘worlds’ …” The poet himself has culled the 118 poems of The Lion Bridge from his great body of work. Rescuing from limbo much material that has gone out of print, this generous chronological selection (taken from seven of his books: Blake’s Newton, The Circular Gates, Without Music, Notes for Echo Lake, First Figure, Sun, and At Passages) includes individual poems, selections from serial poems, a sequence for his daughter, and two complete serial poems. Together the poems form a bridge, from the concentrated intensity of the earliest works to the increasingly expansive and echoic later explorations of “the persons of the poem,” as well as our century’s “stammers and vanishings,” its “embers and folds.”

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Paperback (published June 1, 1998)

ISBN
9780811213837
Price US
19.95
Page Count
272

Michael Palmer

Contemporary American Poet

Although often analyzed as a poetry of ideas—Wittgenstein in verse—Palmer’s is in fact intensely somatic, gestural…Always in Palmer one gets the feeling of the language trying to get outside by undoing itself, by unraveling the complex fabric of language to feel its threads, yes, but perhaps also to see through it to what is behind and beyond it …. ‘Did they really run out of things/or was it only the names for things/in that radical sublimity, that/daubed whiteness, final /cleansing and kindness perfect/snow or perfection of snow//leaving us peering at the bridge.’ At Passages leaves us peering at the bridge, at what we don’t yet know. But it has gotten us to the bridge, to a going-on. And in these cursed times, that is a singular achievement.

—David Levi Strauss, Nation