Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds
publication date: 2005/09/01
trim: 9 x 6
price (paper): $13.95
ISBN 13 (paper): 978-1-932511-24-6
Eleanor Lerman, whose last collection, The Mystery of Meteors, was named by Library Journal as "Best of Poetry, 2001," returns with a dazzling, funny, and seriously mature new book.
In Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds, Lerman boldly wrests contemporary mysticism from a hardknock New York Jewish consciousness. She finds evidence of a larger vision everywhere-in Roswell, bondage clubs, broken-down beach club bars, in a walk with her dog along the shore. She's a solid witness to the sixties: Cold War, Vietnam, sexual revolution, drugs. However, in her favor, she's traveled through Baby Boomer irony, bought the tee shirt, and somehow found her way back.
The love poems of her early books, the ones that made her famous, have returned in earnest. They retain their exuberant play, now tempered with a marvelous, sweet identification with post-Soviet Russian women in particular, and post-Soviet Russia in general. Lerman's new work is warm, inclusive, and diverse. In spite of past failure and heartbreak, her wonderful new book is full of lightness, humor, acceptance, and hope.
Come near. The day is closing down. Dinner is burning, the eternal is proving to be temporary, the divine is showing signs of being cruel. So come near. Talk to me. And as you do, because you do, a car crosses the causeway, coming home. Human beings, expelled from their beds in the morning- tired people, who have made very little money- are walking across the causeway, coming home. The animals who were loyal to them are coming home. Birds flock here, dreams, slave generations still chained to their overwhelming sacrifice are dragging themselves across the causeway, coming home. The last survivors are coming home. Love, wounded and weary; love with its few remaining followers, its bag of candles and threadbare dancing shoes, takes one last look back as it crosses the causeway, coming home. The ghosts of those who thought that they would never get here are here now, on the causeway, coming home. And the day is closing down. So come near. Talk to me. And as you do, because you do, aching decades of labor and struggle begin to climb down from their machines and even I, skilled with my tools, proud of my weapons, allow that it may be time to lay down these great endeavors and come home. Oh how long we have all traveled and how far to set just this first footfall upon your sacred promise that in the evening, there would be a bridge.
Wise and humorous fourth collection from Juniper Prize winner and National Book Award nominee
Winner of the 2006 Lenore Marshall Prize for the year's most outstanding book of poetry
Praise for The Mystery of Meteors: "The latest collection from National Book Award nominee Eleanor Lerman...examines the ways that knowledge is transmitted, translated, and applied....The poems in this collection are neither oblique, nor theoretical, relying on lived experience for their emotional subject....Lerman offers readers a world of unironic optimism, beautiful congruence, and a distinct voice that many are grateful to hear again."
"This is not only a book but also an event: the first poetry collection from Lerman in a quarter-century....Her return dazzles, with poems that seem not so much written as conjured...."
—Kansas City Star
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