Flight: New and Selected Poems
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From this critically acclaimed and award-winning poet, a stunning volume of new and selected works that display her signature intelligence, depth, and vigorous originality.
Hailed as a 'visionary' by The New Yorker and 'radiant' by The New York Times Book Review, Linda Bierds returns with a collection that gives us the best of her astonishing work, and then gives us more: the gift of fifteen new poems. As a poet, she has always shied away from the easy indulgences of confessional poetry, turning her attention instead to the things that unite us in our common humanity: art, science, music, history and bringing alive people (some famous, some little-known) who have made contributions to these spheres. The new poems are no less vital, transporting the reader from medieval to modern-day Venice to the moon; from anatomical sketches to primitive mapping and early naturalism, returning always to the empathy that guides her work.
These tightly woven poems are linked organically through repeating imagery, reflected and refracted through the prism of Bierds's singularly rich imagination. Her language itself communicates just as much as this visuality; as Stanley Plumly has said, "The autobiography of her imagination would only be half as intense were the writing itself less beautiful and clear, less perfect to pitch."
Laurel Review: “Dürer near Fifty”; Northwest Review: “From the Sea of Tranquillity”; Poetry: “Accountancy: Dürer in Antwerp” and “Flight”; Poetry Northwest: “Fragments from Venice: Albrecht Dürer” and “From Campalto.” Finally, and always, my gratitude to Sydney Kaplan, for the life that led to this work. FROM Flights of the Harvest-Mare (1985) AND The Stillness, the Dancing (1988) The Stillness, the Dancing I am indefinitely capable of wonder. FEDERICO FELLINI Long ago, in
park, the Hospital, boulangeries, the Institute where Curie turns, then takes in her blackened, slender fingers a finger-shaped tube of radiation. And the blue Atlantic, radiant, the American shore, the gold-flecked palette Paul Cadmus lifts. It is a midday and sundown in March. He will paint on the flank of an acrobat a gilded skin. She will stroke down the test tube a ticking wand. There is sunlight on their sleeves, as the equinox shifts and the pale-bricked house of Physics
From Campalto We entered Venice by Casa degli Spiriti. CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON Imagine a white horse, alone in a watery meadow. Or, alone in a watery meadow, imagine a white horse. The latter increases your need for me, your relief in my company, as we walk together down the story’s thin lanes, circling the meadow and lolling horse, and the gondoliers on the landing bicker and smoke and shuffle their soft-backed cards. We have, you as my character and I as your guide,
in a thick unit, their thousand bodies dragging the shadow of a wide pond down over the game paths, down over the oak trees and cattle, the doorframe, bedposts, cupped hands, bellows, the cheese in its muslin napkin? Until shape after darkened shape floats in a wash of air? Thirst. Braiding every thought back to an absence. She drinks from her cup. Drinks again. On a hillside the children are laughing, called out from their sorrow by the spectacle of flames. Or by birds in a
doors, the hums of the candle-snuff. Writing stops, then speech. No word, no flagged dot on its spidery stave to diminish the filling. What else but to turn from all food, to decrease from without like the August peaches? To take at the last the fine, unwavering balance of an arc—heart and perimeter— a cup where all sound resonates? . . . A bell has fallen in Moscow, he once wrote, so huge it carried its belfry to the ground. And into the ground. The bell lip and shoulder