Monday, 25 February 2013

Edward Dorn's Collected Poems (2012), fourth selection (from Geography, 1965)

Some favourite passages:

On the bed of the vast promiscuity
of the poet's senses is turned
the multiple world....

opening lines of "Song: The astronauts"

bent is an attitude
I've settled on now
        to define a man
whose attention is forced down

from "The problem of the poem
for my daughter, left unsolved"

...before the bite of the sun quelled the bite
of the stars, we left....


The eye
can be arbitrary,
but its subject matter cannot.
Thus the beauty of some women.

from "Idaho Out"

The occasion for this excursion is in the selected strings
of a life gone terribly lonely. It will be a march.
A frail cloud moves with silence into the window.
No sound in the store. No bell on the door.

* the woven light
of a backroom.

* the ennui of the falling sun....


...all things have an insistence of their own.

from "Six Views 
from the same window of the Northside Grocery"

 ...indolent winter stars
are in her eyes
          indolent as she resides
all seasons by the fork
of my desire.

the last lines of "Love Song"

...a growth
of indetermination
while waiting 
out the season


I am a casual fool
I do so regard
the labor 
of my own
peace of mind.

from "Poem in Five Parts"

this is no judgement, this is
the weight of dissimilar things bound together
by a strictly regulated common deprivation
the low and the high, no middle, held in a smiling equilibrium
you may eat only the shit I give you.


I became that land and wandered out of it.

* wounded middle years,
                                                a practical self-pity


My mother, moving slowly in a grim kitchen
and my stepfather moving slowly down the green rows of corn
these are my unruined and damned hieroglyphs.


...and the land was pledged 
to private use, the walnut dropped in the autumn on the ground
green, and lay black in the dead grass in the spring.

from "The sense comes over me, and the waning
light of man by the 1st National Bank"

 Buy Collected Poems directly from the publisher.


  1. Thanks for posting these. I was not familiar with his poetry, and I like it very much. He's reflecting on some things I am thinking about these days, too.

    1. You're most welcome, and thanks for the post!