Crossing the Equator: New and Selected Poems 1972-2004

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9780156031400: Crossing the Equator: New and Selected Poems 1972-2004

Nicholas Christopher has been praised as one of America’s most important poets by such literary talents as John Ashbery, Charles Simic, James Merrill, and Anthony Hecht. Crossing the Equator collects Christopher’s best work from the past three decades and includes a section of new poems that are among his finest.

Cold missiles and a rain

of embers accompany the men

who slide like shadows into the city

faces mud-smeared

stones for teeth no eyes

who slit the throats of everyone

they encounter until breaking down

my door they drag me into the darkness

that floods the corridor

and lock me in an icy chamber

—from "THE LAST HOURS OF LAÓDIKÊ, SISTER OF HEKTOR"

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER is the author of seven volumes of poetry, five novels, and a cultural history of film noir. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, Esquire, the Nation, the New Republic, the Paris Review, and other notable magazines. A professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, he lives in New York City.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Lake Como

The searchlight of a February moon
at the end of the street
bare trees black railing
an eastern star set like a pearl atop a steeple
that shadows the doorway
where the one-armed card sharp squats
shuffling his deck on a milk crate
waiting for the No. 6 bus to discharge
the off-duty cop the seamstress
the drunken mechanic and the clerk on crutches
who pauses before his building to watch
the mechanic lose three dollars at blackjack
and then stiffly ascends the five flights
to his two rooms on a shaftway
hanging his coat on a hook
and sitting down at the table
on which this morning he placed
a soup bowl and spoon
a tin of crackers and the crossword
puzzle he had been laboring over
beneath the gaze of his late wife
her color photograph propped up in a small frame
a young woman in a boxy dress and felt cap
waving shyly by the edge of a lake
where over her shoulder beneath a clear sky
a sailboat rides the wind
passengers on the polished deck
gazing at the glowing mountain peaks
the cypresses lining the shore
and the pink palazzi with ancient gardens
these men and women in white
who seem to live upon the water
gliding among themselves oblivious to strife
and all else that wears a body down
some sipping from crystal goblets
others just drinking in the light


Copyright © 2004 by Nicholas Christopher

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval
system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work
should be mailed to the following address:
Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive,
Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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