Rosmarie Waldrop, Author . New Directions $15.95 (114p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1559-6

Waldrop is the author of more than 15 collections of poetry and 20 books of translations (including Edmond Jabès's seminal The Book of Questions ) and a professor at Brown University who has mentored an entire generation of poets. She takes her latest title from a neurological condition in which a person sees more than they are aware of—but adds an intersubjective twist. Addressing the various arcs of life and mortality, the book is intricately sectioned, with parts either dedicated to or containing epigraphs from peers and former students such as Charles Bernstein, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Cole Swenson, Jennifer Moxley, with individual poems within the sections dedicated to more of Waldrop's poet acquaintances, creating a complex layering of poetic connections and perceptions. "Hölderlin Hybrids" is a sort of tribute to the German master, while the second section of the book, "As Were," experimentally recreates lives of figures such as da Vinci, Goethe and Mallarmé. Waldrop also draws from contemporaries to create collaged poems indelibly marked with her own philosophical, and often deeply beautiful, language, infused with doubt: "taking your hand, or someone's/ for fear that writing/ though waiting for it, would/ make me a shadow,/ or from fatigue, worthy/ of the dark." (Oct.)

FYI: Set for simultaneous release with the above title is Waldrop's Love, Like Pronouns, using similar forms to further address the various modes and conditions of love, connection and intimacy. (Omnidawn, $12.95 paper 128p ISBN 1-890650-14-5)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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