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The Midnight

Susan Howe


List Price: 19.95*
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New poetry and prose from a most acclaimed experimental American poet.

In The Midnight's amply illustrated five sections, three of poetry and two of prose, we find—swirling around the poet's mother—ghosts, family photographs, whispers, interjections, bed hangings, unfinished lace, the fly-leaves of old books, The Master of Ballantrae, the Yeats brothers, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Lady Macbeth, Thomas Sheridan, Michael Drayton, Frederick Law Olmsted: a restless brood confronting, absorbing, and refracting history and language. With shades of wit, insomnia, and terror, The Midnight becomes a kind of dialogue in which the prose and poetry sections seem to be dreaming fitfully of each other.

Praise For The Midnight

The germ of this extraordinary book is an elegy for the poet's mother, the Irish actress and playwright Mary Manning. But in The Midnight, 'elegy' resides in the space between verse and prose, word and image, text and textile, lyric and narrative, the everyday and the fantastic, Ireland and the United States. Susan Howe is our great poetic chronicler of what it means to dwell in possibility, to live on the Edge.

— Marjorie Perloff

For nearly thirty years, Howe has occupied a particular and invaluable place in American poetry. She's a rigorously skeptical and a profoundly visionary poet, a writer whose demystifying intelligence is matched by a passionate embrace of poetry's rejuvenating power.
— John Palattella

Monomania has its rewards.... The verse has an incantatory power, that shines through.... Howe's images, being historical as well as biographical, have the eerie shading of ghosts half-believed in, giving a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere reminiscent of Borges at his sharpest.

New Directions, 9780811215381, 224pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 2003

About the Author

Susan Howe has won the Bollingen Prize, the Frost Medal, and the Griffin Award. She is the author of such seminal works as Debths, That This, The Midnight, My Emily Dickinson, The Quarry, and The Birthmark.