Monomania has its rewards…. The verse has an incantatory power, that shines through…. Howe’s images, being historical as well as biographical, have the eerie shading of ghosts half-believed in, giving a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere reminiscent of Borges at his sharpest.

Kirkus Reviews

New poetry and prose from a most acclaimed experimental American poet.

The Midnight

Poetry by Susan Howe

In The Midnight’s amply illustrated five sections, three of poetry and two of prose, we find—swirling around the poet’s mother—ghosts, family photographs, whispers, interjections, bed hangings, unfinished lace, the fly-leaves of old books, The Master of Ballantrae, the Yeats brothers, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Lady Macbeth, Thomas Sheridan, Michael Drayton, Frederick Law Olmsted: a restless brood confronting, absorbing, and refracting history and language. With shades of wit, insomnia, and terror, The Midnight becomes a kind of dialogue in which the prose and poetry sections seem to be dreaming fitfully of each other.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published June 1, 2003)

ISBN
9780811215381
Price US
19.95
Trim Size
6x9
Page Count
224

Susan Howe

American poet and essayist

Monomania has its rewards…. The verse has an incantatory power, that shines through…. Howe’s images, being historical as well as biographical, have the eerie shading of ghosts half-believed in, giving a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere reminiscent of Borges at his sharpest.

Kirkus Reviews

For nearly thirty years, Howe has occupied a particular and invaluable place in American poetry. She”s a rigorously skeptical and a profoundly visionary poet, a writer whose demystifying intelligence is matched by a passionate embrace of poetry”s rejuvenating power.

—John Palattella, The Boston Review

The germ of this extraordinary book is an elegy for the poet”s mother, the Irish actress and playwright Mary Manning. But in The Midnight, “elegy” resides in the space between verse and prose, word and image, text and textile, lyric and narrative, the everyday and the fantastic, Ireland and the United States. Susan Howe is our great poetic chronicler of what it means to dwell in possibility, to live on the Edge.

—Marjorie Perloff

Howe’s words give the impression of echoing another, hidden poetry of which we catch only fragments, like an opera sun in another room––except that the other room is death, or history, or the ineffable. Her vocabulary includes the whole past of language. The words are magnetic filings that adhere uncertainly to a receding body of meaning.

—Geoffrey O’Brien, Village Voice