- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Magnetic Northby Linda Gregerson
Synopses & Reviews
The New Yorker has written, Gregersons rich aesthetic allows her best poems to resonate metaphysically.” In this new volume, Linda Gregerson makes clearer than ever her passionate premise that the metaphysical only and always derives from our profound embeddedness in physical reality.
From subjects as diverse as the Nazi occupation of Poland and a breakthrough discovery in cell biology, Gregerson seeks to distill "the shape of the question," the tenuous connection between knowing and suffering, between the brightness of the body and the shadows of the mind. "Choose any angle you like," she writes, "The world is split in two." One poem, "Bicameral," moves from a child's cleft palate to a gunshot wound to the hanging skeins of a fabric in a postwar art exhibit. In the wool cut from the sheep to make the materials of art, she finds a tangled record of violence and repair: "The body it becomes will ever / bind it to the human and a trail of woe."
Longtime readers of Gregerson's poetry will be facinated by her departure from the supple tercets in which she has worked for nearly twenty years: Magnetic North is a bold anthology of formal experiments. It is also a heartening act of sustained attention from one of our most mindful poets.
"In the searching, extended meditations of her fourth collection, Gregerson (Waterborne) draws relationships between disparate subjects and historical periods with masterful assurance, trying to head off the dizzying sensation of loss or perhaps to prolong its effects. Often, the desire for divine reassurance is tempered by a cerebral wryness in response to witnessing desperation and suffering firsthand. In a poem about September 11, Gregerson writes, 'There are/ principles at work, no doubt:/ beholding a world of harm, the mind/ will apprehend some bringer-of-harm'; intellectualization artfully circumvents uncontrolled emotional response. Gregerson's elastic line lengths and flexible stanza structures figure her poetic access to recent and remote events and people, which are interwoven to create a fabric that can withstand the present. Gregerson self-consciously strives toward an understanding of universal order she knows she can never have: 'The world so rarely/ let's us in.' The poems are strongest when Gregerson's local, natural world becomes a portal to the metaphysical, and poems on mythological subjects and other artists are at times less moving. But at her best, Gregerson's compass points surely through a landscape in which 'what was/ the future — cinnabar, saffron, marigold,/ quince — becomes the past.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This stunning collection from the award-winning poet Linda Gregerson examines the intersections of history, science, and art.
Touching on subjects as diverse as a breakthrough discovery in cell biology and the films of Ingmar Bergman, the anatomy of a possum and the Nazi occupation of Poland, Gregerson seeks to distill the shape of the question,” the tenuous connection between knowing and suffering, between the brightness of the body and the shadows of the mind. Choose any angle you like,” she writes, the world is split in two.” Longtime readers of Gregersons poetry will be fascinated by her departure from the supple tercets in which she has worked for nearly twenty years: Magnetic North is a bold anthology of formal experiments. It is also a heartening act of sustained attention from one of our most mindful American poets.
About the Author
LINDA GREGERSON is the author of Waterborne, The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep, and Fire in the Conservatory. A recent Guggenheim Fellow, she teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at the University of Michigan. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry as well as in the Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Ploughshares, the Yale Review, TriQuarterly, and other publications. Among her many awards and honors are an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, four Pushcart Prizes, and a Kingsley Tufts Award.
Table of Contents
1 Sweet 4 Bicameral 8 Spring Snow 11 Make-Falcon 15 Bright Shadow 17 The Burning of Madrid as Seen from the Terrace of My House 23 Father Mercy, Mother Tongue 26 At the Window 28 The Chapel Doom 32 The Turning 36 De Magnete 41 Another Diana 44 No Lion, No Moon 48 My Father Comes Back from the Grave 52 Over Easy 54 Prodigal 57 Dido in Darkness 61 Elegant
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like