Cover image for Slowly
Hejinian, Lyn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Place of publication not identified] : Tuumba Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
43 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:

Edition of 1500 copies.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3558.E4735 S56 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Poetry. "I am very much interested in abstraction in language, in pushing language to the point that it becomes fact itself rather than some intermediary or condition."-Lyn Hejinian Written between November 20, 2000 and September 24, 2001, SLOWLY explores a longer breath than Hejinian's previous poetry, and a more variable, percussive rhythm than her previous prose. The distinction between Sentences and Lines; that which pitches a work towards poetry or secures it within prose, is more difficult here than before, and whatever it is, it stops. It backs up and picks a new direction:"A pelican becomes a cloud, a cloud becomes / a wire, a wire binds Shostakovitch to the stained wall / of a small room becoming this in other words that / becoming my decision

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

If Happily-Hejinian's previous offering from what appears to be a series of short book-length works-can be considered a poem of the day, framing experience as a linked series of charged, ephemeral pleasures, then Slowly is a poem of night: "Everyone knows that in the dream called `Will My Spirit Live On When I'm Dead' as in the dream `Will I Be Fired' and the dream called `Do You Only Pretend To Love Me' there are no objects..../ Subjectivity at night must last hours with nothing to judge but itself." Hejinian's wistful yet aggressive mapping of lyrical selfhood uses an elongated syntax to match the random, uncontrollable collisions of nocturnal mental material: "One has to wait for the lateness of the day with recalcitrance circulating to stop in the midst of traffic in a blindspot that flows around one smoothly to regard the dark buildings without apology." But the arrival point of this darkly digressive sojourn is the day-for-night moment of change between historical epochs; the poem (as it states near the colophon) was composed from November 20, 2000, to September 24, 2001. The rolling rhythms of the opening stanzas are gone by the last pages, where images of debris, buildings and pedestrians dominate but don't give quite bring the purgatory-like landscape into sharp relief: "The present consists of effects of the past and this also is known as one's fate faintly felt / I'm facing the rain but it's tied somewhere and doesn't reach now so it remains." Remaining through the darkness is the key to the book's finally hopeful stance, one that allows readers to project themselves into an uncertain future: "Now we are pedestrians wondering what to become." (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved