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Imago

poems by Brian Swann

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An exuberant collection of poems celebrating art, nature, and humanity.

This various and vital poetry collection, in rich language and sharp detail, spans the rural and urban, country and town, and foreign and domestic. Tracing the vagaries of the self, these poems record and transmute biography from an English youth to the trials and challenges of aging in America. Memorable for its exuberant voice and exacting eye, Brian Swann's Imago is awake to the natural world as well as the world within. From the half-page title poem to the multi-section "Elegiac," this volume is striking in its…

An exuberant collection of poems celebrating art, nature, and humanity.

This various and vital poetry collection, in rich language and sharp detail, spans the rural and urban, country and town, and foreign and domestic. Tracing the vagaries of the self, these poems record and transmute biography from an English youth to the trials and challenges of aging in America. Memorable for its exuberant voice and exacting eye, Brian Swann's Imago is awake to the natural world as well as the world within. From the half-page title poem to the multi-section "Elegiac," this volume is striking in its largeness, its tone evolving from self-indicting to ecstatic and self-transcendent. This collection, the author's fourteenth, is moving both as art and as testament.

Imago unfolds much like a piece of music. It is a continuum by which Swann sees nature and art interwoven in the ways they emerge and change. In "Grief and Magritte," Swann muses upon "all of us snagged in a net whose skeins tangle in night sky / where one star dreams another." The title poem focuses on an insect "on its way through the changes, the patterns / of what led up to it, the catches and releases... saying now, and now" till "splitting down the back" such changes "release what was always there." Brian Swann's poems, moving in their candor, read as though they have always been there, too.

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Imago

poems by Brian Swann

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Reviews

Reviews

Imago marries perceptual acuity to waywardness of thought. Swann's elegies refute elegiac premises, as in 'The Garden.' His imagistic forays turn out to be elaborate meditations on notorious abstractions, as in 'History.' The poet's open-ended investigations into the nature of dying and old age, and what Wallace Stevens called 'the palm at the end of the mind,' are fluent, fluid, and endlessly appealing.

About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
96
ISBN
9781421445670
Table of Contents

Proem
Locus
History
Composed
Pulses
Them
Telegraph Wires
Three Mallards
The Feather
Tropical Fish
I. The Garden
Running
Nationalism
The Basil on the Sill
Bach in the Garden
Skunk
Pastoral
Sonnet of Intimacy
Shopping

Proem
Locus
History
Composed
Pulses
Them
Telegraph Wires
Three Mallards
The Feather
Tropical Fish
I. The Garden
Running
Nationalism
The Basil on the Sill
Bach in the Garden
Skunk
Pastoral
Sonnet of Intimacy
Shopping for Snacks
The Moon Bridge at Ch'ien
A Bird
The Garden
II: Elegiac
The Screen Door
Making Sense
Jokes
The Code
The Silence
Elegiac
Eternity
Grief and Magritte
The Dog
Death
The Same in All Directions
William Blake and Space Travel
Theater
Light
III: Turtle Moon
Bats
Serenade
The Passion
Churchyard
Why
As With a Child's Eye
North
Silence
Butterfly
Imago
The Wind's
A Sleeping Rock
Turtle Moon
Notes on the Poems
Acknowledgments

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Brian Swann

Brian Swann teaches at Cooper Union. He is the author, editor, or translator of more than 50 books and 14 poetry collections, including In Late Light and Sunday Out of Nowhere: New and Selected Poems.