“Our language has not enjoyed the work of a poet so religious, without the consolations of convention, since the death of Wallace Stevens.”—Graham Christian, Harvard Review
Brilliant new poems that capture, at once, terror and paradise as subtle music
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Reviews / Endorsements
“ His concern to produce an individual structure of perception for every place, thought and experience he writes about results in a ceaseless and challenging originality.”—Alan Brownjohn, New Statesman
“Christopher Middleton’s rare genius for exact observation and metaphysical wit has given us for over half a century now poems of such brilliant craftsmanship and exacting sensibility that a few critics only have dared to assess their magic. He is an incomparable stylist, a wry ironist, a philosopher of words. The only category in which he fits justly is that of a poet.”—Guy Davenport
From the Book:
The Space of the Mandarin Duck
Apparently in Japan
One century and a half ago
The love-language of France
Was thought to be shocking.
So blatant, so presumptuous, so brutal
Its violation of the atmosphere
Proper to every person.
I covet, they said in Japan,
The space of the mandarin duck,
There, at your side, beside you.
The liminal duck took delight
Breezily as a go-between.
Tender obliquity saw it off.
A space with nothing there,
Dear old duck, even unaccompanied
And far, far away from others,
Still your space I covet.
Come the day when a volley of your quacks
Quells every twittering vandal of speech
And unspeaks the sweet-talker
Whose voice curdles with money and hate.
CHRISTOPHER MIDDLETON, poet and translator, previously published with Sheep Meadow Press: The Tenor on Horseback, Tankard Cat, Of the Mortal Fire, The Word Pavilion and Intimate Chronicles.