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The Mastery Impulse
Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon
2003 • 96 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-388-2

A collection of poetry by Ricardo Pau-Llosa.

With this, his fifth collection of poems, Ricardo Pau-Llosa completes a cycle begun in his two previous Carnegie Mellon titles—Cuba (1993) and Vereda Tropical (1999). His voyage through history, exile, the mechanics of memory, and the theatrical nature of public spaces has brought him to a pondering of the imagination as the force that shapes consciousness. In The Mastery Impulse the journey begins with the transformation of everyday objects from raw materials of experience into its muses. In part two, the way we understand nature, including our drives and instincts, attests to how the imagination shapes our encounters with the primal. In the third section Pau-Llosa explores how the imagination shapes our encounters with the primal. In the third section Pau-Llosa explores how our awareness of death should lead us to a metaphysics where the emphasis is on the creation of parables rather than belief. Finally, it is memory's shaping of the past which provides us with the skills to transform immanence and inevitability into a poetics of survival.

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Reviews / Endorsements

"The poems of The Mastery Impulse confront that intensity of place where the mind, heart, and a necessary guiding aesthetic interlock. It is a precise poetry of complicated optimism emanating from an engrossing dimension in which neither the imagination nor the one who imagines is wholly Master."—Pamela Stewart

RICARDO PAU-LLOSA was born in Cuba in 1954 and grew up in the US; he lives in Miami. Pau-Llosa writes poetry, short fiction and art criticism. He is also an avid collector of art from the Americas and an inveterate smoker of fine cigars. His website is

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:13:23 -0500