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While he was Poet Laureate of the United States (1990-91), Mark Strand selected this book for publication with special funds administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, saying, No first book in recent memory has so much wisdom, so much lyric conviction as Michael White's The Island. I find his poems astonishingly mature, profound, evocative. White's poems rise from the dark interstices of memory and imagination, his brief love poems of uncannily bright phrasing providing counterpoint to his mastery of elegiac meditation. He knows the water-world of rivers and bays and boats so intuitively that his rhythms of language and image often convey a parallel sense of time and motion, his eye for luminous detail elevating an already impressive gift for narrative. White's imaginative world is like no other in contemporary poetry. He evokes Emersonian themes as comfortably as he explores a range of verse forms, his landscapes gravitating toward an art of fleeting illusory grace.
Copper Canyon Press, 9781556590504, 80pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 1992