The Eternal City
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Chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon to relaunch the prestigious Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets under his editorship, The Eternal City revives Princeton's tradition of publishing some of today's best poetry. With an epigraph from Freud comparing the mind to a landscape in which all that ever was still persists, The Eternal City offers eloquent testimony to the struggle to make sense of the present through conversation with the past. Questioning what it means to possess and to be possessed by objects and technologies, Kathleen Graber's collection brings together the elevated and the quotidian to make neighbors of Marcus Aurelius, Klaus Kinski, Walter Benjamin, and Johnny Depp. Like Aeneas, who escapes Troy carrying his father on his back, the speaker of these intellectually and emotionally ambitious poems juggles the weight of private and public history as she is transformed from settled resident to pilgrim.______ From The Eternal City:WHAT I MEANT TO SAY Kathleen Graber In three weeks I will be gone. Already my suitcase standsoverloaded at the door. I've packed, unpacked, & repacked it,making it tell me again & again what it couldn't hold.Some days it's easy to see the signifi cant insignificanceof everything, but today I wept all morning over the swollen,optimistic heart of my mother's favorite newscaster,which suddenly blew itself to stillness. I have tried for weeksto predict the weather on the other side of the world: I don't wantto be wet or overheated. I've taken out The Complete Shakespeare to make room for a slicker. And I've changed my mind& put it back. Soon no one will know what I mean when I speak.Last month, after graduation, a student stopped me just outsidethe University gates despite a downpour. He wanted to tell methat he loved best James Schuyler's poem for Auden. So much to remember, he recited in the rain, as the shopsbegan to close their doors around us. I thought he would livea long time. He did not.
From Publishers Weekly
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