James Richardson


"The poems are elegies for everything, including myself," writes James Richardson. "Beyond this, I cannot pretend to be certain of much about them. I suppose they reflect a self with only a tenuous grip on its surroundings, threatened by their (and its own) continuous vanishing. The poems respond with a helplessness, fitful control, and not a little tenderness. Like the protagonists of The Encyclopedia of Stones: A Pastoral, I am very slow, both unsettled and inspired by the vertiginous strangeness and speed of events. I suspect these melancholy and disembodied poems are attempts to arrest the moment long enough to say farewell, to let things go rather than be subject to their disappearance."

First published in 1977.