La Far

Powered by Google
Get permissions
114 pages, 5 x 8 inches
eBook, perpetual ownership: 

“Linsker’s poems splice and complicate realms and modes and sensory domains with wit and acute musical edgework. They are deeply, quixotically enjoined in the hard and essential ‘grief of eternal joy.’”—Emily Wilson, judge, 2013 Iowa Poetry Prize

“Eric Linsker knows that poetry has an unavoidable politics, that there is no way it can be otherwise. And yet he also knows that poetry’s powers often come from glancing at the huge, such as the deaths that resulted from the protests around the building of the power plant in Dongzhou, and yet in the next moment wandering away to notice something quiet about sparrows, something about how they peck at frozen water. So he has written La Far, a book that dwells in muted devotion, that resonates from a willingness to wander both toward and away, often at the same time.”—Juliana Spahr 

“This book thinks the open, enlivened by material urgency, met in verse sounded through the long Western romantic torrent of enclosure, verdure, slaughter and soul. How its honeyed years are built in other’s blood. Open against privation’s time. Open into an earth made of anguish named a ‘garden.’ Thus to open heaven, to open like a broken heart is open—open out.”—Dana Ward

"Linsker's poems examine the world's movement, language and identity in the internet era with a craft that is original and unnerving."—Publishers Weekly

How far are we from the Lake District? How far from the garden? Eric Linsker’s first book scrolls down the Anthropocene, tracking our passage through a technophilic pastoral where work and play are both forms of making others suffer in order to exist. In La Far, the world is faraway near, a hell conveniently elsewhere in which workers bundle Foxconn’s “rare earths” into the “frosty kits” that return us our content, but also the sea meeting land as it always has. Both are singable conditions and lead, irreversibly, to odes equally comfortable with praise and lament. The poems in La Far hope that by making the abstract concrete and the concrete abstract, “literalizing / a nightingale beyond / knowledge,” we might construct what Wordsworth called a “Common Day,” a communized life partaken of by all.


Harpes et luz


soon, fumiter-crowned, you bore the strown

hedge on water,

         where was the center under ashes,

and the sparrow before



where is the hedge,

from the hedge,

         said the sparrow,


set, the hedge bruised


with leaves, floating, and the tortured

grew, and those before appearance,

         like waves,

decayed, bent over,


again, you said,

where is the hedge, said the sparrow,


         where whit,

said whit-

age, whitecaps,

white cliffs, then you crossed the logical sand