Bookmark and Share

For Educators

Splitting and Binding
Pattiann Rogers

Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan University Press
1989 • 61 pp. 5 1/2 x 8"

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1173-7

Intense and beautiful poems about transformation after death.

These intense and intelligent poems resist oblivion and void in an infinite process of fulfillment of potentiality. Beginning with death, they evolve into the immortality of transformation. A dead star becomes marsh, a disintegrated sun sings in the rubbings and gratings of the red-legged locust. The mind, ancestor of the sky, contemplates “the nature of itself/ In the motion of stars”; “the mind /Has been obligated from the beginning/ To create an ordered universe/ AS the only possible proof/ OF its own inheritance.” Uniting and separating, splitting and binding.”

Pattiann Rogers see mythic patterns in the changing motions of the universe – “green grain of jelly-seed rotating slowly, / Turning by multiple yellow hairs to place/ Its cold side trapped in a cathedral, transfigured by light of the shinning dove;; a whale aligning “its narrow eye” to “the bright star – point of Polaris.” Her poetry is metaphysical and physical, intellectual and sensuous, it has a controlled passion that joins body and spirit – “the soul believes of itself.” It finds energy and healing in the dream of life.


“Each poem has a fearsome energy, its own little hummingbird heart of an engine fired by a mind passionately engaged with itself and its eons of inheritance”—Sharon Sheehe Stark

“The energy to distinguish and the energy to generalize – these are powers of Splitting and Binding, and as so often before but never so openly, so opulently, the poet Rogers enacts for us what it means, as she says, to be “eaten alive”: to be devoured by the principles of discernment and understanding, earth itself, liquid into solid. Goethe would have loved this book.”—Richard Howard


Texas Institute of Letters Poetry Award 1990

PATTIANN ROGERS has received a number of awards for her poetry. She won the Voertman Poetry Award for The Expectations of Light from the Texas Institute of Letter in 1982, two awards from Poetry – the Bess Hokin Prize and the Eunice Tietjens Prize – and two from Poetry Northwest – the Young Poet’s Prize and the Theodore Roethke Prize. She received a Guggenheim fellowship for 1984-1985 and two NEA grants, in 1982 and 1988.
Rogers is visiting assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the faculty at the Vermont College of Norwich University in Montpelier. She has been the Richard Hugo Poet-in-Residence at the University of Montana and poet-in-residence at the Robert Frost Place. Other books by Rogers are The Tattoed Lady in the Garden (Wesleyan, 1986), Legendary Performance, and The Only Holy Window (a chapbook). She was graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1961 (B.A.) and from the University of Houston in 1981 (M.A.). Her home is in Stafford, Texas.

Fri, 4 May 2012 13:41:20 -0500