In these essays, Bruce Bond interrogates the commonly accepted notion that all poetry since modernism tends toward one of two traditions: that of a more architectural sensibility with its resistance to metaphysics, and that of a latter-day Romantic sensibility, which finds its authority in a metaphysics authenticated by the individual imagination. Poetry, whether self-consciously or not, has always thrived on the paradox of the distant in the immanent and the other in the self; as such, it is driven by both a metaphysical hunger and a resistance to metaphysical certainty. Hidden resources of being animate the language of the near, just as near things beckon from an elusive and inarticulate distance. Bond revalidates the role of poetry and, more broadly, of the poetic imagination as both models for and embodiments of a transfigurative process, an imperfectly mimetic yet ontological engendering of consciousness at the limits of a language that must—if cognizant of its psychological, ethical, and epistemological summons—honor that which lies beyond it.
“With characteristic formal precision and linguistic elegance, Bruce Bond reminds us of poetry’s ultimate purpose, to show us the ‘shining world outside the world.’ Bruce Bond is one of our finest poets.”
“Bruce Bond is a lyric virtuoso of exceptional range who pilgrimages to the heart of experience.”
Photo credit: Michael Clements
Bruce Bond is the author of fourteen books, most recently, Sacrum, For the Lost Cathedral, The Other Sky (poems in collaboration with the artist Aron Wiesenfeld), and Black Anthem (winner of the Tampa Review Prize). He is Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas and Poetry Editor for American Literary Review.