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Draft of a Letter (Paperback)

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From "Second Draft":
What other people learn
From birth,
Betrayal, My soul perched
On an olive branch
Combing itself,
Waving its plumes. I said
Being mortal, Mortal things.
Said my soul,
If you’ re telling the truth.
"Draft of a Letter" is a book about belief— not belief in the unknowable but belief in what seems bewilderingly plain. Pondering the bodies we inhabit, the words we speak, these poems discover infinitude in the most familiar places. The revelation is disorienting and, as a result, these poems talk to themselves, revise themselves, fashioning a dialogue between self and soul that opens outward to include other voices, lovers, children, angels, and ghosts. For James Longenbach, great distance makes the messages we send sweeter. To be divided from ourselves is never to be alone. “ If the kingdom is in the sky, ” says the body to the soul, “ Birds will get there before you.” “ In time, ” says the awakening soul, “ I liked my second / Body better / Than the first.” To live, these poems insist, is to arise every day to the strange magnificence of the people and places we thought we knew best. "Draft of a Letter" is an unsettled and radiant paradiso, imagined in the death-shadowed, birth-haunted middle of a long life.
Praise for "Fleet"" River"
“ A sensibility this cogent, this subtle and austere is rare; even rarer is its proof that poetry still flows through all things and transforms all things in the process.” — Carol Muske-Dukes," Los AngelesTimes Book Review"


Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Mfg Part# 9780226492681
SKU 204174630
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0226492680
Release Date 7/21/2014
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