Alvin Feinman


This volume of Alvin Feinman's poems presents a highly praised earlier work, Preambles and Other Poems, combined with more recent poems. Of Preambles Allen Tate wrote, "This is a remarkable first book. . . . There is an acute and subtle sensibility at work. 'Pilgrim Heights' is one of the best poems by an American that I have seen in many years.' "

From "Pilgrim Heights"

Something, something, the heart here
Misses, something it knows it needs
Unable to bless--the wind passes;
A swifter shadow sweeps the reeds,
The heart a colder contrast brushes.

So this fool, face-forward, belly
Pressed among the rushes, plays out
His pulse to the dune's long slant
Down from blue to bluer element,
The bold encompassing drink of air

And namelessness, a length compound
Of want and oneness the shore's mumbling
Distantly tells--something a wing's
Dry pivot stresses, carved
Through barrens of stillness and glare.

First published in 1990.