Things on Which I've Stumbled (New Directions Paperbook)

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9780811218030: Things on Which I've Stumbled (New Directions Paperbook)

Remarkable poetry by the widely acclaimed poet and translator of Hebrew and Arabic poetry.

In Peter Cole's remarkable new book, the forces and sources that have long driven his work come together in singular fashion. Things on Which I've Stumbled rides a variable music that takes it from an archeology of mysterious poetic fragments unearthed in an ancient Egyptian synagogue to poignant political commentary on the blighted hills surrounding modern Jerusalem. Cole's vision of connectedness, his wit, and his grounded wisdom, along with his keen sense of literature's place in a meaningful life, render these poems at once fresh and abiding. Widely acclaimed for his translations from Hebrew and Arabic, Cole is also the author of two highly praised collections of poems. Writing in The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom called Peter Cole "a major poet-translator." In Things on Which I've Stumbled, he turns to translating the world.

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About the Author:

Peter Cole’s previous books of poems include Things on Which I’ve Stumbled (New Directions). Among his volumes of translation are The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition and The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. Cole, who divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.

Review:

“Prosodic mastery fuses with a keen moral intelligence in this collection.... In his unabashed search for wisdom and beauty―notions many poets today find fatuous or at least too subjective to handle―Cole fearlessly manipulates sonic and semantic patterns.... Working from ancient sources, he has enacted Pound’s dictum to ‘Make it new.’”
- American Poet

“Peter Cole is not a household name, but this MacArthur Fellow has had a long and impressive career as a poet.... There is a quiet, streaming power in Cole’s work that leads the reader back to it over and over again.”
- Bloomsbury Review

“[Cole’s] poetry is ... remarkable for its combination of intellectual rigor with delight in surface, for how its prosody returns each abstraction to the body, linking thought and breath, metaphysics and musicality. Religious, erotic, elegiac, pissed off―the affective range is wide and the forms restless.”
- Ben Lerner, Bomb Magazine

“Terrifically impressive. Plainspoken wit [mixes with] gestures towards traditional form, a questioning but always humble mysticism, drawing as much on Muslim as Jewish sources. Brilliant and haunting.”
- Mark Scroggins, Culture Industry

“A major new book. Readers searching for wholly modern poetry dealing with spiritual issues, grounded in history, and presented with great craft will find it in Cole’s new book.”
- James DenBoer, ForeWord

“Erudite, politically charged, and often dazzling.... [Cole is] an unusual and courageous contemporary poet.”
- Philip Metres, Gently Read Literature

“Underlying much of his work is a wry sense of humor which peeks through... his own reliance on Kabbalistic allusions.”
- Jewish Book World

“[Cole’s] blend of formalism, Hebraicism, poetic midrash, and Modernist collage is marvelous.”
- Poetry Magazine

“Peter Cole is a true maker. His extraordinary learning is deep and personal, and his poems, like his translations, are powered by a large spiritual quest to link and light the world with words. He stands with amazement before great mysteries.”
- Edward Hirsch

“The keenness of his mind and the moral seriousness of his work astonish....The exquisite specificity of his diction and the intricacy of his prosody are without parallel among the poets of his―and my―generation.”
- Forrest Gander

“A major poet-translator.”
- Harold Bloom

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