The Nonconformist's Memorial (Paperback)

Poems

By Susan Howe

New Directions, 9780811212298, 160pp.

Publication Date: June 17, 1993

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A poetic re-piecing of history.


The Nonconformist's Memorial is a gathering of four long sequences that underscores Susan Howe's reputation as one of the leading experimentalists writing today. How is a poet of language in history whose work resonates back through Melville, Dickinson, and Shelley to the seventeenth-century Metaphysicals and Puritans (the nonconformism of the title), and forward again to T. S. Eliot and the abstract expressionists. The sequences fall into two sections, "Turning" and "Conversion," in half-ironic nonconforming counterpart to Eliot's Four Quartets. Her collaging and mirror-imaging of words are concretions of verbal static, visual meditations on what can and cannot be said. For Howe, "Melville's Marginalia" is the essential poem in the collection, an approach to an elusive and allusive mind through Melville's own reading and the notations in his library books. This, says Howe, is "Language a wood for thought."


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.


Praise For The Nonconformist's Memorial: Poems

Howe has continued to produce work of meditative urgency unmatched in recent American poetry.
— Geoffrey O'Brien