For Louis Pasteur
AUTHOR: Bowers, Edgar
PUBLISHER: Princeton University Press
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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.
PUBLICATION DATE: 12/1/1989