A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-gris

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New Directions Publishing, 2002 - Poetry - 118 pages
2 Reviews
A landmark collection by one of America's leading avant-gardists. A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-Gris is Jerome Rothenberg's passage from one century--one millennium--to another. Of the one hundred poems that comprise the book, the first half were written in 1999, the second in the two years that followed. But far more than a marker of era-shifting, it is a collection that reestablishes the primacy of the poetic "I, " not in the sense of a confessional, personal voice, but of the grammatical first person as both a singular witness and conduit for others--a kind of prophecy. Often incantatory, the poems in A Book of Witness are a reaffirmation of self in the face of history's darknesses, a shout for life against an indifferent universe. A Book of Witness is Rothenberg's thirteenth book with New Directions, his first since A Paradise of Poets (1999). An internationally celebrated poet, translator, and experimentalist, he is also the editor of several groundbreaking anthologies, most recently, with Pierre Joris, of Poems for the Millennium (University of California, 1995 and 1998). In 2002, he was the recipient, with Milos Sovak, of PEN Center USA's translation prize, for Antilyrik & Other Poems (Green Integer), by the Czech poet Viteslav Nezval
  

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A book of witness: spells & gris-gris

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Rothenberg, a longtime experimental voice in American poetry, here presents "a century of poems," representing, as he says in a "Postface," "a passage from one millennium to another." His 13th book ... Read full review

Review: A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-Gris

User Review  - Matt - Goodreads

I found my way to Rothenberg after reading a very different kind of poem dedicated to him by Julie Doxsee and sort of misreading what in her poem was indebted to R. But that said, I'm glad to have ... Read full review

Contents

The Case for Memory
3
The Burning House
4
Where God Is Light
5
I Have Paid the Price Lost
6
There Is a Map Inside My Pocket
7
An Empty Bell
8
What the World Gives Back
9
A Premonition
10
Better Than Numbers
24
In the Stars
25
Despair Is Never Universal
26
25The Kings of Water
27
I Will Not Save the World
28
I Practice Dying
29
In Defiance of the Dead
30
A Medicine That Kills Me
31

Like a Wall
11
10A Real Man
12
Every Night at Ten
13
There Is Never Enough Time
14
13The Last Friend
15
141 Am Mad by Turns
16
More Than Stars
17
A Cruel Nirvana
18
Enhancing the Pleasure
19
When We Do One Plus Two
20
At Night
21
To Make Life Real
22
The Messages of Slaves
23
To Slow the Passage
32
This Does Me Proud
33
It Is a Day of Miracles for Me
46
It Is a Shame to Watch My Face
59
A Calendar That Fluttered
73
The Voice Inside
75
The Miracle of Death
83
In the Way Words Rhyme
93
A Little Thought
100
Fail As a Celibate
106
A Living Heart
112
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