The Revisionist and the Astropastorals: Collected Poems

(Author) (Foreword by)

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$23.95  $22.03
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.8 X 0.8 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author

Douglas Crase was born in 1944 in Battle Creek, Michigan, raised on a nearby farm, and educated at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. A former speechwriter, he was described in the Times Literary Supplement as "the unusual case of a contemporary poet whose most public, expansive voice is his most authentic." His work has been widely anthologized and he has received a Witter Bynner Award, Whiting Writers' Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations for both his poetry and essays. He lives in New York and Carley Brook, Pennsylvania.


"Thinking here has been arrayed with grace enough to belie its density. Crase's linguistic domain is at once tantalizingly abstract yet present and palpable. His poems are alive on the tongue while being read and even more so days later, as a recollected fragment surfaces unbidden amid the flux of thought." -Albert Mobilio, Hyperallergic "Crase renders the most familiar tropes wonderfully strange, these "revisions" of a received canon proving as subtle as they are provocative: "A century Begins," he explains in "To the Light Fantastic," "begins because it discovered/ The rights of man, or unearthed light." Elsewhere, wordplay suggests an ecstatic mystery: "The mitigation remembers the mischief, / And nothing's repaired except to engender it/ Different. All things are wild/ In the service of objects." This expertly framed volume marks a lasting contribution to American poetry."-Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Substantial poems very much addressed to a listening ear, sometimes identified as a loved-one, and spoken very correctly in a language of description and abstraction with distinct and logical use of figuration."-Peter Riley, Fortnightly Review "For Crase, desire is a way of starting again, if not quite starting anew, and it enjoins another longing, or hope: that your strongest attachments needn't be your most appropriative ones. He dreams - sometimes rhapsodically, at other times ruefully - of acquisition without possession, and the work he adores lives this dream as a kind of calling ('Anybody knows, ' Stein wrote, 'how anybody calls out the name of anybody one loves')."-Matthew Bevis, London Review of Books "I had heard that Douglas Crase's only full collection, The Revisionist (1981), was something else, but I was still astonished to encounter its grand, cracked, almanac voice. The Revisionist and The Astropastorals (Carcanet), with a welcome introduction by Mark Ford, reprints all of Crase's published verse from 1974 to 2000. The Revisionist's 'sinuous, semi-abstract landscape poetry', as Ford puts it, evokes an America we are still trying to imagine today: 'What have we done? Is it true the English / Could have called Long Island as they did, Eden? / Anyway, if the seas keep warming up it will all be gone'"-Jeremey Noel-Tod, Times Literary Supplement "That Crase's invocation of the Whitmanian poetic tradition can be so powerful after all these years of overuse and abuse is a small miracle of revisionism itself." -Phoebe Pettingell for the New Leader "Crase is the master of complex, sinuous sentences that twist and loop and unfurl in the most unpredictable of ways."-Mark Ford for the Times Literary Supplement "[Crase's] subject is America, more specifically the spirit of place, for he writes of geology, colonial history, Federal architecture and a variety of landscapes.... Like Merrill's and Ashbery's, his writing argues sinuously, often subordinating sentence elements and juggling contexts in an almost baroque way."-Charles Moleworth for the New York Times "The Astropastorals serves as a reminder that the history we are brooks no conclusion, so it remains in continual need of revisionists (and of The Revisionist). Crase's first book is not, after all, a closed case, a done deal. We still need him."-Barry Schwabsky for Hyperallergic "Crase looks at the city and the landscape with the amused, disabused eye of a lover. Revisionism, in his supple argumentative poetry, turns out to be something very close to love."-John Ashbery