Far Side of the Earth (Hardcover)


By Tom Sleigh

Houghton Mifflin, 9780618302420, 112pp.

Publication Date: March 17, 2003

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/22/2005)

List Price: 22.00*
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Widely considered one of the finest poets of his generation, Tom Sleigh brings to his new collection his trademark intensity and craftsmanship. In these poems, small things reveal large metaphysical and historical correspondences. In "Newsreel," for instance, the entire Cold War era comes to a drive-in movie theater, as Marilyn Monroe's screen image gives way to a tale of sci-fi Armageddon. In the elegiac "New York American Spell, 2001," Sleigh combines ancient spells with reportage of terrorism. Sleigh's overarching theme is the ever-changing face of love. As in Ovid's Metamorphoses, his poems reveal the workings of eros, for good or ill, in all its public and private guises.
Sleigh here mixes the streetwise edginess of popular culture with Greek and Latin references, myths, and dramatic lyric. His unexpected fusion of poetic forms grounds these poems in what is familiar, but also what is on the far side of experience in the most sinister and transcendent aspects of contemporary reality. Passionately comprehensive in its understanding of this reality, Far Side of the Earth is unique for its moral gravitas, consolatory power, and strangeness of vision.

Praise For Far Side of the Earth: Poems

"This fifth, and best, volume from Sleigh...will (at the least) cement Sleigh's reputation as a poet of modern wounds, and may well open him up for larger readerships -- or land him a major award." Publishers Weekly

"In his best poems Sleigh holds everything together by matching his intense emotion with skillfully worked out metaphors." --David Orr The New York Times Book Review

"Tom Sleigh's nine-part sequence, "New York American Spell 2001," which appears in his excellent new book...is one of the most genuinely interesting, oblique and forceful post-Sept. 11 poems I've read." --Edward Hirsch

The Washington Post

"Revs both diction and syntax to produce his best work yet...A sequence of poems about September 11th asserts the importance of poetry itself."

The New Yorker

"[Sleigh's] poems -- tense, philosophical, relentlessly physical -- feel and sound almost carved from language, sculpted from stone." --Robin Becker, American Poetry Review