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New Dark Ages (Wesleyan Poetry) [Paperback]

By Donald Revell (Author)
Our Price $ 12.71  
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Item Number 93722  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   72
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.01" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.26"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1990
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819511862  
EAN  9780819511867  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
New Dark Ages is a book of ideas that exhibits a rare quality - adventurousness. The poems are intelligent and deeply felt, complex and crystal clear. Donald Revell writes about things as tender and as complicated as happiness and freedom. His poetry brims with images, wonder, and discovery, as it seeks to answer such questions as :If the original idea of America is defunct, what has taken its place? If privacy is no more, how do we go about the business of loving? If God and history have become one, what is the relationship between morality and expediency?" And, above all, "Why is it that, in spite of all, the twentieth century is so heart-breakingly beautiful - a true vindication of humanism?"

Buy New Dark Ages (Wesleyan Poetry) by Donald Revell from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780819511867 & 0819511862

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More About Donald Revell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald Revell is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A THIEF OF STRINGS is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Twice winner of the PEN Center USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been granted fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. Donald Revell's previous translations include A SEASON IN HELL by Arthur Rimbaud (Omnidawn 2007), which won the PEN USA Translation Award. He has also translated The Self-Dismembered Man: Selected Later Poems by Guillame Apollinaire, and Alcools: Poems by Guillame Apollinaire, both published by Wesleyan University Press. His books of essays include INVISIBLE GREEN: SELECTED PROSE, published by Omnidawn. Former editor-in-chief of Denver Quarterly, he now serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell lives in the desert south of Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children Benjamin Brecht and Lucie Ming.

Donald Revell was born in 1954.

Donald Revell has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Wesleyan Poetry

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Anthologies   [8915  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General   [19247  similar products]
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4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century   [6376  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General   [6288  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
New Dark Ages  Feb 14, 2002
This book presents a collection of work wherein Revell masters his unique phrasings and socio-polical concerns, planting them together in poems that ultimately succeed in a very important way: they report and then transcend the obscure complexities of modern life, while simultaneously calling upon memory, identity, and deep experience for salvation.

One of the most refreshing aspects of Revell's work is that, for the most part, he adheres to a precision in his syntax, even though the images and observations he presents are, at times, extremely sublime, even surreal. It lures the reader into dark territories of experience, which ultimately transform into what might be called a 'new' or 'created' wisdom.

The best poems in the collection, 'Perspective', 'A Parish in the Bronx', 'The Northeast Corridor', 'St. Lucy's Day', and 'The Judas Nocturne,' are absoulute jewels. Of the aforementioned poems, The Judas Nocturne provides the following:

"How lovely
if the fate of nations flowered and collapsed
in little rooms at street level, rooms like mine
where I am just explaining to someone
that she is a cloud chamber of furtive stars
and that I have a map of them."

These lines display Revell's masterful ability to attack experience from an impressive array of perpectives. The phenomenal, the temporal, the personal, the political, the social, and the transcendant are all compiled into lines that propel precisely toward the part of the reader that simply cannot defend itself from such a onslaught from all sides.

Perhaps the strongest poem of all is 'The Northeast Corridor," presented here in its entirety:

The Northeast Corridor

The bar in the communter station steams
like a ruin, its fourth wall open
to the crowd and the fluttering timetables.
In the farthest corner, the television
crackles a torch song and a beaded gown.
She is my favorite singer, dead when I ws born.
And I have been waiting for hours for a train,
exhausted between connections to small cities,
awake only in my eyes finding shelter
in the fluttering ribbon of shadow
around the dead woman singing on the scree.
Exhaustion is the last line of defense
where time either stops dead or kills you.
It teaches you to see what your eyes see
without questions, without the politics
of living in one city, dying in another.

How hadly I would like to sleep now
in the shadows beside real things or beside
things that were real once, like the beaded gown
on the television, like the debut
of a song in New York in black and white
when my parents were there. I feel sometimes
my life was used by before I was born.
My eyes sear backwards into my head
to the makeshift of what I have already seen
or heard described or dreamed about, too weary
not to envy the world its useless outlines.
Books of photographs of New York in the forties.
The dark rhombus of a window of a train
rushing past my train. The dark halo
around the body of a woman I love

from something much farther than a distance.

The world is insatiable. It takes your legs off,
it takes your arms and paradesin front of you
such wonderful things, such pictures of warm houses
trellised along the sides with green so deep
it is like black hair, only transparent,
of woman singing, of trains of lithium
on the awkening body of a landscape
or across the backdrop of an old city
steaming and high-shouldered as the nineteen-forties.
The world exhausts everything except my eyes
because it is a long walk to the world
begun before I was born. In the far corner
the dead woman bows off the satge. The television
crunples into a white dot as the last
train of the evening, my train, is announced.
I lived in one place. I want to die in another. "

These poems are dramatic, serious, lyrical, and contemplative. They are also intellectual. But they have the voice of a brave intellect that seeks irreducible truths in a modern world borne from a nearly unbearable pluralism of ontologies.

The usual poetic methods cannot adequately make sense of such a world. Often, many poets merely report and respond. Revell goes to the next level, which is the truly 'poetic' level, and contructs new methods by which we might see ourselves honestly and forgivingly, and somehow finds a way to survive our personal and collective shortcomings.

In short, you believe these poems; they hold big truths about our collective entrapment, and our potential salvation.


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