Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

The Laughter of the Sphinx

The Laughter of the Sphinx Cover

The Laughter of the Sphinx

By Michael Palmer

New Directions Publishing Corporation, Paperback, 9780811225540, 96pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

Advertisement
Description

Michael Palmer's new book--a collection in two parts, "The Laughter of the Sphinx" and "Still (a cantata--or nada--for Sister Satan)"--contains 52 poems.

The title poem begins "The laughter of the Sphinx / caused my eyes to bleed" and haunts us with the ruin we are making of our world, even as Palmer revels in its incredible beauty. Such central tensions in The Laughter of the Sphinx--between beauty and loss, love and death, motion and rest, knowledge and ignorance--glow in Palmer's lyrical play of light and entirely hypnotize the reader. The stakes, as always with Palmer, are very high, essentially life and death: "Please favor us with a reply / regarding our one-time offer / which will soon expire."

Advertisement