wilson-micro

Micrographia



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2010
58 pages, 5 1/2 x 9 inches
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1-58729-801-5
978-1-58729-801-1
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1-58729-851-1
978-1-58729-851-6

"Robert Hooke made small phenomenal; likewise, Emily Wilson allows us—if I may borrow two words from Henry James—an ‘immense intimacy’ with the world. From their first chord (‘more rose than rubiate’; ‘foment moving through it’) to their lovely last thoughts at water, the poems in Micrographia are an unusual pleasure to say. And what that saying lets us see—up close and, as Wallace Stevens would have it, ‘not Personal’—is splendid.”—Graham Foust, author, Necessary Stranger

“Emily Wilson scrutinizes the interstices—joints—seams—strata—cracks in nature, extending and complicating ideas of beauty and perspective. These are astonishing poems, with their intricate diction and bitten syntax. They reveal an intelligence not less wild, not less original, than the world that is the focus of Wilson’s quiet, fierce attention”—Michele Glazer

Eight years after her revelatory first book, Emily Wilson deepens her focus and extends her vision in new poems of striking intelligence and originality. Venturing into landscapes both interior and exterior, Micrographia explores what Wilson calls “the complex rigged wildness” of geographical, emotional, and verbal states, a territory located “somewhere in that / enjambment within / a cave within the brain.” Following in the tradition of such poets as Dickinson, Bishop, and Ammons, Wilson’s work regards the mind as “enmeshed” with the natural world, always “at the hinge of going over.” Her way of speaking is as precisely calibrated and as restless as her way of seeing, and the terrain of Micrographia rises from a rich and unpredictable encounter with poetic language and form. At the same time, the voice of these poems is never less than urgent, “coming clear by the foment / moving through it.” 

Wilson’s eye travels the troubled boundaries between visible and invisible worlds, ranging from coastal Nova Scotia to the Andean highlands to Brooklyn’s industrial Gowanus Canal to the poet’s own backyard. Steeped in tradition but spoken in tones that are utterly distinctive, these intricate poems enter into the microscopic, micrographic spaces between words and things, between thinking and being.

Table of contents: 

I.
Fugitive
Morpho Terrestre
Interior
Small Study
Endemic
Camperdown Elm
Monadnock
Motif
Little Gothic
Event
Sunset: Rouen?
Growth and Form
Stereotype
Prospect
II.
Blue Hill
Poem
Picturesque
Little Discourse
Spring Intensive
Tableau
Coal Age
Monoprint
Round the Mountain
Zoetrope
Johnny Rotten’s Produce
Watercolor with Scraping-Out
Notchland
III.
Micrographia
The Yew
Pleasant Hill
Protea
Gray and Greens
Synthetic Figment
Fidelity
The Spruce
Spiral Bound
North
Red-Legged Kittiwake
Excursion

Excerpt: 

Interior

reflections in a marriage breakfront
in which to glimpse a door

has just been opened
a child come half-way through

then backed back in again
or outside arms of red cedars

I must think before thinking of them
so limber road-red and persisting

around to some mean
I must go toward through snow

barrens above an ocean
the cognitions of which give of

shales of greens of
things I know dwell there

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