Spoken on the margin between death and birth, reading and writing, separation and union, the poems of Errings address the absenta lost leader, a remote love, a protege not yet bornand across those distances delineate the motion of consciousness as it passes from one body to the next. “Videos of Fish,” the opening sequence, speaks to the spirit of the poet’s late father, adapting devices from Dante, Tibetan metaphysical philosophy, and the biomechanics of the most primitive of vertebrate bodies, the fish, to envision paths of the disembodied soul. “How difficult it is to remain one person,” the poet claims, echoing Czesław Miłosz; in its progress between persons, the collection’s regular shifts in mode and form include the purgatorian tercet,
the Japanese poetic diary, didactic verse, the Persian ghazal, the erasure, and the miniature.
Experience among the waves allows one to limit the field.
Each year he grew another soul, oblong, slightly pointed at the end, like an oar, its surface turned to the light.
Blacken now and lift your news into the air.
About the Author
Peter Streckfus is Professor of English at George Mason University. He is the author of The Cuckoo, winner of the 2003 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.
Table of Contents
Videos of Fish
New Rules of the Oan Era (1372)
Suggestions for a New Day (1452)
Additional New Rules, Suggestions for a New Day, & Cetera (1502)
A Bridge, The Pilgrims
A Bridge, Election
The Reader 54
Earth and Water
The Lake and the Skiff