- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
This title in other editions
Other titles in the Wesleyan Poetry series:
Practical Water (Wesleyan Poetry)by Brenda Hillman
Synopses & Reviews
Practical Water is, like Brenda Hillman's previous two books, Cascadia and Pieces of Air in the Epic, both an elemental meditation and an ecopoetics; this time her subject is water: Taoist water, baptismal water, water from the muses' fountains, the practical waters of hydrology from which we draw our being--and the stilled water in a glass in a Senate chamber. Not since Allen Ginsberg tried to levitate the Pentagon has American poetry seen the likes of the hallucinatory wit and moral clarity that Hillman brings to Washington in her poems about Congressional Hearings on the Iraq War. Here also--because it is about many kinds of power--is a sequence of twinned lyrics for the moon, governess of tides and night vision, for visible and invisible faces. Violence and the common world, fact and dream, science and magic, intuition and perception are reconfigured as the poet explores matters of spirit in political life and earthly fate. If it is time to weep by the waters of Babylon, it is also time to touch water's living currents. No one is reimagining the possibilities of lyric poetry with more inventiveness; this is masterful work by one of our finest poets.
"Hillman's eighth collection of poems is the third in her series of book-length meditations on the elements (her last book was Pieces of Air in the Epic). In these aesthetically challenging, yet often surprisingly clear poems, which span the personal, political and environmental, water is simultaneously a transparent vessel, a mirror and an endangered resource. The first section speaks for and through water and other masks from nature. The title poem begins by sounding the book's central question: 'What does it mean to live a moral life.' The poem goes on to suggest how we might fruitfully learn from the titular element: 'It's hard to be water/ to fall from faucets with fangs/ to lie under travelers as horizons/ but you must.' The second section contains a series of poems based on hearings in Congress, which Hillman actually attended, where 'The Congress folks are tired & beige.' The two-part poems in the third section are dialogues with each month's moon ('December Moon,' 'January Moon'), which speaks in cryptic hints reminiscent of Louise Glck's flowers: 'Don't ask/ who I am. I was/ the dawn song:/ i helped you hide.' Section four looks at the waters of Hillman's native Northern California. Hillman has become an increasingly difficult poet, while simultaneously growing increasingly interested in how poetry can engage political realities. This is one of the most unusual and compelling books so far this year." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
What Our Readers Are Saying
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:
Other books you might like