Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

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9780819568137: Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan Poetry Series)
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Elizabeth Willis’s new collection is a stunning collision of the pastoral tradition with the politics of the post-industrial age. These poems are allusive and tough. While they celebrate the pleasures of the natural world—mutability, desire, and the flowering of things—they are compounded by a critical awareness of contemporary culture. As we traverse their associative leaps, we discover a linguistic landscape that is part garden, part wilderness, where a poem can perform its own natural history. Divided into four cantos interrupted by lyrics and errata, Meteoric Flowers mirrors the form of Erasmus Darwin's 18th-century scientific pastorals. In attending to poetry's investigative potential, Willis shifts our attention from product to process, from commodity to exchange, from inherited convention to improvisational use.

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About the Author:

ELIZABETH WILLIS is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University. She is the author of three previous volumes of poetry, including The Human Abstract (1995), a National Poetry Series selection, and lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

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Guided by the spirit of 18th-century botanist and intellectual Erasmus Darwin (Charles's grandfather), the poems of Willis's fourth book attempt to reclaim a natural world that has been made hazy by postindustrial and popular culture. The 55 pieces that make up this cohesive collection are divided into four cantos of prose poems, which are interrupted by verses mimicking the miscellany found in Darwin's Botanic Garden, from which Willis (Turneresque, 1990) also takes her titles ("Grateful as Asparagus," "Loud Cracks from Ice Mountains Explained"). Disjunctive and densely packed poems mix pastoral language ("...a tree I think is sweeping out this country air") with postmodern ideas ("...America owns the moon") and up-to-the-minute phraseology ("...it's mist upon the blog") to convey an earnest desire to relate to nature: "I do this work to word you." (Apr.)
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Book Description University Press of New England, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Elizabeth Willis s new collection is a stunning collision of the pastoral tradition with the politics of the post-industrial age. These poems are allusive and tough. While they celebrate the pleasures of the natural world-mutability, desire, and the flowering of things-they are compounded by a critical awareness of contemporary culture. As we traverse their associative leaps, we discover a linguistic landscape that is part garden, part wilderness, where a poem can perform its own natural history. Divided into four cantos interrupted by lyrics and errata, Meteoric Flowers mirrors the form of Erasmus Darwin s 18th-century scientific pastorals. In attending to poetry s investigative potential, Willis shifts our attention from product to process, from commodity to exchange, from inherited convention to improvisational use. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780819568137

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Book Description University Press of New England, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Elizabeth Willis s new collection is a stunning collision of the pastoral tradition with the politics of the post-industrial age. These poems are allusive and tough. While they celebrate the pleasures of the natural world-mutability, desire, and the flowering of things-they are compounded by a critical awareness of contemporary culture. As we traverse their associative leaps, we discover a linguistic landscape that is part garden, part wilderness, where a poem can perform its own natural history. Divided into four cantos interrupted by lyrics and errata, Meteoric Flowers mirrors the form of Erasmus Darwin s 18th-century scientific pastorals. In attending to poetry s investigative potential, Willis shifts our attention from product to process, from commodity to exchange, from inherited convention to improvisational use. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780819568137

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