Stan Rice, who died in December 2002, was a poet of unique, uncompromising vision. Joy and brutality, faith and faithlessness, the beauty of truth and, at times, of untruth-these opposing forces come together one last time in his final book of poetry, a haunting collection of psalms. Beginning with his "Psalm 151"-that is, taking up where the Bible leaves off-Rice calls us to his own kind of prayer and contemplation. "Lord, hear me out," he begins. "At the point of our need / The storehouse shares its shambles. " An elegant, passionate, tragic lament for our condition, Rice's homemade psalms exhort us indirectly to accept our fate-the world as it is. In the brave, unshrinking manner that has characterized his whole career, Rice has written a profound farewell. From the Hardcover edition.
"Behold the door / the lock's alive," warns Stan Rice in one of the commanding poems that make up this new volume of verse. From the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras to the private chambers of the imagination, Rice's work is at times sharp and minimalist and at times over the top in its vivid critique of life and in its regard for the sanctity that lurks in all experience. In these concise, memorable verses, he contemplates the stroller-pushing crowd in the American mall; he maps the complex traffic of a marriage; he speaks to the cat bristling in the closet: "--for you, / For your on-tiptoe hissing / Slit-pupiled arched-backed tail- / Stiffened terror, this song." Throughout, Rice sings of the darkness that conflicts us and of the moments of pure consciousness that allow us to transcend darkness.From the Hardcover edition.
In these concise, memorable verses, Stan Rice contemplates the stroller-pushing crowd in the American mall; he maps the complex traffic of a marriage; he speaks to the cat bristling in the closet and throughout, Rice sings of the darkness that conflicts us and of the moments of pure consciousness that allow us to transcend darkness.
"There are so many profound and finely constructed poems in Singing Yet (like the Whitmanesque 'America the Beautiful' in which the poet pledges allegiance 'this time to the vivification of our lost Body Politic,/ nerves and follicles and arteries/ ablaze in the suaveness of night') that it is impossible to cover even a fourth of this collection... As a volume of selected poems... it stands a monument to the trust of the poet's own life and writings." Dave Oliphant, Texas Observer "The new and selected poems in Stan Rice's Singing Yet forcefully resist categorization. They are not shaped or mannered to fit in anybody's idea of a school of poetry, and yet they are equally uninterested in being ingratiating to the reader who is ignorant of contemporary poetry... the new work contains Rice's most completely realized poems, small masterpieces like 'I Called the Cow' and 'The Madness of Chance,' chancey but absorbing autobiographical rambles like 'Time in Tool,' and a dozen black comic riffs." Ralph Adamo, New Orleans Times-Picayune "Although Rice's first book in nine years includes work from three earlier volumes, it also stands as a whole... he affirms the physicality of language and flesh, the 'doctrine of perception as animal things defined.' And through affirmation, he acquires compassion and tenderness. This is serious stuff, urgent and original." Publisher's Weekly
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