Cover image for For Louis Pasteur
Title:
For Louis Pasteur
Author:
Bowers, Edgar.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1989]

©1989
Physical Description:
66 pages ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780691014678

9780691068107
Format :
Book

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PS3503.O8199 F67 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary


In poems about his friends, his family's place in Georgia, trips to New Mexico, persons in the Old Testament, and Louis Pasteur, Edgar Bowers writes to place and examine his subjects and his experiences in history and in cultures. The "Thirteen Views of Santa Barbara," for example, is grounded in a place usually perceived as "ahistoric" with the same motive that prompts him to ask in the title poem: "How shall a generation know its story / If it will know no other?" and that causes him throughout the collection to discover the possibilities of blank verse and of classical kinds of poem, structure, and feeling.


From "Thirteen Views of Santa Barbara":


In spring, we fish for halibut. In summer, When grunion spawn at midnight in the surf, We look for them on the sand to throw them back. In winter, from the point, we cast beyond The breakers to where the bass feed. Solar age And mythic distance turn round the point's ellipse. Earth is dark. Air darkens. The moon is white. Then, as if I were there, I watch us here, Immensities of purpose barely visible Intent upon the message in the line Startlingly taut with sudden gravity, Muscle and bone of the reflected light.



Summary


In poems about his friends, his family's place in Georgia, trips to New Mexico, persons in the Old Testament, and Louis Pasteur, Edgar Bowers writes to place and examine his subjects and his experiences in history and in cultures. The "Thirteen Views of Santa Barbara," for example, is grounded in a place usually perceived as "ahistoric" with the same motive that prompts him to ask in the title poem: "How shall a generation know its story / If it will know no other?" and that causes him throughout the collection to discover the possibilities of blank verse and of classical kinds of poem, structure, and feeling.


From "Thirteen Views of Santa Barbara":


In spring, we fish for halibut. In summer, When grunion spawn at midnight in the surf, We look for them on the sand to throw them back. In winter, from the point, we cast beyond The breakers to where the bass feed. Solar age And mythic distance turn round the point's ellipse. Earth is dark. Air darkens. The moon is white. Then, as if I were there, I watch us here, Immensities of purpose barely visible Intent upon the message in the line Startlingly taut with sudden gravity, Muscle and bone of the reflected light.



Reviews 2

Choice Review

"How shall a generation know its story/ If it will know no other?" The opening lines of the collection make us cringe that Bowers may be leading us into mawkish labyrinths of old-fashioned moralizing or sociology under the pretense of poetry. Not so. Instead, the flexuous lines combine with historical references and delicate turns in endings, persuasively expanding their subjects. A poem beginning with hang gliders waiting together in a row for the wind ends, convincingly, with a comment on the stars. Which is to say at once that this is the work of an intensely visual poet, one who, furthermore, can make the larger connections we so often miss. The later poems, especially, tend to lack the grand sense of participation in things beyond our limited selves, yet easily more than the first half of the pages offer heady experiences. Worth consideration by academic and public libraries maintaining contemporary poetry collections. P. Wild University of Arizona


Choice Review

"How shall a generation know its story/ If it will know no other?" The opening lines of the collection make us cringe that Bowers may be leading us into mawkish labyrinths of old-fashioned moralizing or sociology under the pretense of poetry. Not so. Instead, the flexuous lines combine with historical references and delicate turns in endings, persuasively expanding their subjects. A poem beginning with hang gliders waiting together in a row for the wind ends, convincingly, with a comment on the stars. Which is to say at once that this is the work of an intensely visual poet, one who, furthermore, can make the larger connections we so often miss. The later poems, especially, tend to lack the grand sense of participation in things beyond our limited selves, yet easily more than the first half of the pages offer heady experiences. Worth consideration by academic and public libraries maintaining contemporary poetry collections. P. Wild University of Arizona