Item description for Alternatives to History by Jay Ladin...
Jay Ladin is a devotional poet who is also blasphemous, sometimes simultaneously. What he most surely opposes is cant. The "alternatives to history" that he examines - more accurately, celebrates - have to do with God, ethics, kabbalah, current events, happiness and absolution. His poetry offers a personal view of the big truths. Readers will find, having finished this extraordinary first book, that Ladin has explained what we did not know that we did not know. The fact is, through his poetry Ladin does the reader a favor, a great courtesy. He makes our lives more valuable.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.06" Width: 6.5" Height: 0.25" Weight: 0.43 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2003
Publisher Sheep Meadow
ISBN 1931357153 ISBN13 9781931357159
Availability 0 units.
More About Jay Ladin
JAY LADIN earned his Ph.D. in English at Princeton University. He now teaches at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about Alternatives to History?
Impressive and original free-verse poetry Jan 13, 2004
Alternatives To History is a collection of impressive and original free-verse poetry by Jay Ladin that acknowledges the ruthlessness of war, terror, and death, yet offers genuine tribute to the sheer perseverance of life. A chapter of poems referring time and again to the "Situation" of ongoing Israeli-Palestinian violence is particularly insightful and quite memorable in its disturbing capture human conflict. The Role Of The Imagination In A Time Of Terror: Not a body in the market,/Not a footfall in the street. A god//Of bits and pieces/I wink, settle//At a nearby table, finger dawdling/Between trench coat buttons,//Sweating shrapnel/Into the stone-warmed breeze, Usually//I'm just your imagination, a figment/Of Circumambient hatred, This evening//A Waiter with wrestler's arms/Pins my wrists to my knees. The bomb doesn't--/No martyr's pension, no causalities--/But I explode//;Over and over/Spattering walls and windows//With strips of kid/You dress and serve//In your dreams. I pull/Myself together, bulge//Above an eighteen-year-old pelvis/That detonates a supermarket entrance//One week later. While You're still sorting out the pieces--/Shards of arm from schist of leg,//Security from vengeance--/I deck myself in tanks and sappers, boys//Pressing pistols to infant temples, shots/(The cameramen beaten for their own protection)//Of wailing women whose stylized grief/Makes them look like extras. Weeping//Like Rachel, refusing/To be comforted,//I strike my thigh, I lament,/Let me return, take me back,//Imagine me again/As your Promised Land//With breasts full of wine and shores outspread/To gather my children's--be children again--//Expatriated limbs./But there is Jacob//Smoking all night around windowless tables/Sketching fences and retaliations//With hairy, capable hands./The spitting image//Of his brother,/He feeds me something//Slaughtered in a hurry--/Savory, steaming, persuasive.//Ever a father to him, I bless,/Tipping my mirror to his lips//At the scene of an explosion/That hasn't, yet. the future//Is his. Breahs/Condense. Footfalls//In markets. Bodies/In the street.