Meteoric Flowers

Meteoric Flowers

by Elizabeth Willis

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Overview

Elizabeth Willis's new collection is a stunning collision of the pastoral tradition with the politics of the post-industrial age. These poems are allusive and tough. While they celebrate the pleasures of the natural world—mutability, desire, and the flowering of things—they are compounded by a critical awareness of contemporary culture. As we traverse their associative leaps, we discover a linguistic landscape that is part garden, part wilderness, where a poem can perform its own natural history. Divided into four cantos interrupted by lyrics and errata, Meteoric Flowers mirrors the form of Erasmus Darwin's 18th-century scientific pastorals. In attending to poetry's investigative potential, Willis shifts our attention from product to process, from commodity to exchange, from inherited convention to improvisational use.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819568496
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2007
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 94
Sales rank: 838,547
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)

About the Author

ELIZABETH WILLIS is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University. She is the author of three previous volumes of poetry, including The Human Abstract (1995), a National Poetry Series selection, and lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

The Similitute of This Great Flower
Sympathetic Inks
Her Mossy Couch
The Great Egg of Night
The Steam Engine
The Nettle
Of the Gulf Stream
A Description of the Poison Tree
Grateful as Asparagus
The Oldest Part of the Earth
This Circumstance is Worth Further Attention
Devil Bush
Glittering Shafts of War
Verses Omitted
On the Resemblance of Some Flowers to Insects
The Principal Catastrophe
Irritative Fevers
The Skirt of Night
Of Which I Shall Have Occasion to Speak Again
The Happiest of Poets
Diana's Trees
Her Bright Career
Phosphorescent Trains
Expiring Groans
The Most Powerful Machine in the World
Plants Possess a Voluntary Power of Motion
Buds and Bulbs
Verses Omitted by Mistake
Pictures Connected by a Slight Festoon of Ribbons
The Portland Vase
Oil and Water
Rosicrucian Machinery
Tiptoe Lightining
With New Prolific Power
Viewless Floods of Heat
The Ghost of Hamlet
Near and More Near
Hercules Conquers Achelous
Departure of the Nymphs Like Northern Nations Skating on the Ice
Bright O'er the Floor
Solar Volcanos
Errata
Loud Cracks from Ice Mountains Explained
Why No New Planets are Ejected from the Sun
Ancient Subterranean Fires
Immortal Sire
Plundering Honey
A Bird of Our Country
One Great TIde
Fuel of the Lower People
In Flowers Concealed
Accidental Breezes
The Earth's Nucleus
Primeval Islands
Ferns, Mosses, Flags
Note of the Text
Acknowledgments  

What People are Saying About This

Susan Howe

"Elizabeth Willis is an exceptional poet, one of the most outstanding of her generation, and Meteoric Flowers is her most compelling collection to date."

Rosmarie Waldrop

“This book is a remarkable investigation of our experience and language. The poems have a rich music, but the energy radiates most strongly from the intersection of emotion and intelligence, from the cut, the startling leap, the way her sequences turn corners, build up unexpected tensions and progressions. Meteoric Flowers is a truly contemporary vision.”

From the Publisher

"Elizabeth Willis is an exceptional poet, one of the most outstanding of her generation, and Meteoric Flowers is her most compelling collection to date." —Susan Howe

"This book is a remarkable investigation of our experience and language. The poems have a rich music, but the energy radiates most strongly from the intersection of emotion and intelligence, from the cut, the startling leap, the way her sequences turn corners, build up unexpected tensions and progressions. Meteoric Flowers is a truly contemporary vision."—Rosmarie Waldrop

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