Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In

Powered by Google
Get permissions
166 pages

“Roberson's simple message, …that things in life are hard to pin down, is reiterated with authority in numerous ways throughout this complex, fine collection.”—Publishers Weekly

“Ed Roberson's poems embrace the complexities of a life that reflects itself in the luminous mirrors of history, painting, and music. A blur of imperfect moments informed by a vision which links the various threads leading outward to our common world 'in which all that lifts must land.' The ebb and flow of words, phrases, and caesuras in his work convey an oceanic roll, a largesse of possibilities, how to write and how to live.”—Lewis Warsh

Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In stands extremely tall. It is a wrought, wry, entrancing, transportive, strict, soul-sustaining book.”—Nathaniel Mackey

There is no one else like Ed Roberson—certainly there is no other poet like him. His is an oblique, eccentric, totally fascinating talent. Because of these qualities, it may seem that he is difficult to follow—as Ornette Coleman or Gabriel García Márquez or Romare Beardon seems difficult to track at times. But his strength of vision is always evident; the quickness and inclusiveness of his voice can sweep a reader along into new and refreshing areas.

Roberson's poetic moves are not tricks or affected traits. They are artistic and deeply considered techniques. Reading the two basic cycles of this elliptical and intriguing work could be likened to reading Ezra Pound or a more deliberate and lyrically touched Charles Olson, but with an unanchored allusiveness of things largely American taking the place of the Chinese and the Mayan. Roberson creates that rare combination of sophistication and simplicity which defines truly significant poetry. In this new work he makes the variety of our culture dance from his very special viewpoint.



ascendant an ancient
for ancestor

mine ancestor is
seen upon my skin
a light that color is

upon the surface

mine is an African
ascendancy in sight
at sight a burn

If yours were
the eye of the sky
what would the source

be of

your look upon me,
what would it grow,
what would its color be?

How do you burn?