The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)

Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.7 X 1.8 inches | 2.3 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Arthur Sze has published ten books of poetry, including Sight Lines (2019), which won the National Book Award. His other books include Compass Rose (2014), which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His poems have been translated into a dozen languages, including Chinese, Dutch, German, Korean, and Spanish. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and was the first poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives.


"The recognition was long overdue when Sze won the 2019 National Book Award for his previous book, Sight Lines. This 500-page, career spanning retrospective is a fitting follow up, allowing readers to take in the full breadth of what Sze has achieved over ten collections published since the early 1970s. . . . This book is an overwhelming feast, a treasure, and more than enough proof that Sze is a major poet."--NPR, "Glimmers of Hope: A 2021 Poetry Preview"

"A new cornerstone of the Asian American poetic canon, Arthur Sze's career-spanning book collects early adaptations of classical Chinese poetry, his signature terrain-traversing sequences, and new work written in lines like microscope slides, long and translucent, each one isolating a single clarified perception: 'adjusting your breath to the seasonal rhythm of grasses-- // gazing into a lake on a salt flat and drinking, in reflection, the Milky Way--.'"--The Boston Globe

"A monumental collection from a poet whose lasting importance should now be recognized; essential for dedicated readers of contemporary American poetry."--Library Journal, starred review

"There is an immense silence, or the clearest crystal-toned ringing, that emanates from the nearly three hundred poems that comprise Arthur Sze's The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems. This incandescent collection by one of our time's most masterful poets is an invitation for us all to see ourselves, our lives, this earth, and one another in clear, attuned radiance."--The Georgia Review

"Ten other collections of poetry live here titivated by 26 new poems, all of them marked by the manners that have always permeated Sze's work: Zen-like wonder at the tiniest of moments that invariably take strong left-turns into new worlds"--New York Journal of Books

"Sze is simultaneously the microscope and telescope of the poetry world. And more. To truly attend to these poems is to begin to feel like you have been opened to a kaleidoscopic experience of the cosmos, a multisensual one whose kinetic foci gather moments across time and space, word and world. . . . The Glass Constellation is a sublime and masterful embodiment of a kind of cosmic consciousness."

"In the case of poet Arthur Sze, 'master' is no misnomer. . . . Sze as poet has been continually searching for new ways of making poetry alive, to make way for the breathing infrastructure of the poem in all its fragility and rigor. As a result of his dynamic poetic efforts, the map of human consciousness will have grown more detailed." --Kyoto Journal Review

"The pages bear meaning of the poetry so moving that they take on a life of their own, flowing through, or rather 'collapsing' into, other images, obliging the writing process even. In turn, this urges the reader to connect, to feel along with this very process, to finally 'expand' the threads of meaning through discovery."--Tinderbox

"Sze's achievement is considerable. . . . [His] images are sharply in focus, like computational photography, his sensibility presents us with a vision that is surreally hyper-aware. The Glass Constellation is edifying in its freshness, confident in its approach, and winningly modest in its adjustment of the sublime." --The Cortland Review

"Sze writes gracefully about both the cosmos and the natural world, mining vivid imagery that performs exactly what Ezra Pound wrote an image should embody, namely, 'an emotional and intellectual complex in an instance of time.' One poem segues into the next, moving from book to book with leaping, lyrical reportage that erases the speaker's ego but not his presence. Each of his poems is a proverbial drop containing the whole of the ocean of his poetry. . . . Sze's steady outpouring of new work since 1972 testifies to the infinite inspiration of this seminal muse. Indeed, he has made new the ancient wisdom of Taoism's self-renewing binary: 'the Tao that can be told is not the Eternal Tao.' The cosmic cynosure that is implicit in Sze's title, The Glass Constellation, connotes radiance, reflection, and exquisite craftsmanship. It's an apt metaphor for his transcendent poetry."--Harvard Review

"Sze is a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry, and Asian poetic and philosophical traditions. Image-based juxtaposition, openness to chance, ego-shattering and interrogative thought, remain central to this practice. The empirical and theoretical knowledge of the physical world, of which Sze has a remarkable range, enriches rather than competes with our emotional engagement. Theorems of geometry and physics (as in 'The Angle of Reflection Equals the Angle of Incidence') are pondered as much for their spiritual as for their epistemological potential. This is a fresh kind of environmental imagination, with none of the stagy Thoreauvian 'contact' with unmediated Nature, or Emersonian summation of the 'All'. And yet, with full humility and wonder, the sense of the sublime does often arise, with its perplexing interplay of the minute and the vast, and its mixture of pleasure and terror, order and rupture."--PN Review