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Stereopticon [Paperback]

Stereopticon [Paperback]

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Item description for Stereopticon by Pamela Harrison...

Stereopticon by Pamela Harrison

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Item Specifications...

Pages   92
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2004
Publisher   Wordtech Communications
ISBN  193233923X  
ISBN13  9781932339239  

Availability  0 units.

More About Pamela Harrison

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Pamela Harrison and her husband, Keith, are the co-founders of High Seas Ministries, a ministry dedicated to serving guests and crew members of the cruise ship industry. She teaches the complete Bible as presented in The 10-Day Bible Companion on ships and for groups on land. They are passionate about presenting God's Word in a way that anyone can understand it and share it with others!

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Stereopticon?

American Poetry at its Finest  Oct 24, 2005
Pamela Harrison writes with clear, forthright, elegeant words that deliver a view of contemporary American life without seeming contemporary or stark. Her literary illustrations of personal experiences are so unselfish that they are universal without seeming commonplace and overdone
Truth, Beauty, and Binocularity  Jun 8, 2005
Name a collection of poetry Stereopticon and, more than supplying a title, you are instructing the reader on how to see the poems. A stereopticon (or, for those of my generation, a Viewmaster) is a device designed to isolate each eye's perception of one of two very slightly offset, but otherwise identical pictures so that the brain, in combining them, forms a three-dimensional image. Trickery-which is to say art-renders a reality more real than the photographs it manipulates.

Harrison's first two poems frame the conceit within which those that follow will repeatedly work. "A Singular View" suggests rejection of binocularity's trick: when "our words echo the contours of our being"-that is, when they take form from within instead of reconstructing what is received from without-they "make a singular view-not beautiful but true."

The second poem, which lends its title to the book, begins with the confusion of unreconciled sensations:

I grew up in a house where what was said

was so different from what was felt

it made me wall-eyed to string a meaning

between the two. Sometimes my eyes crossed,

and I groped all day through double vision-

In the penultimate stanza, however, she tells us, "It's my nature to prefer an ugly truth to delusion"-and indeed, her poetry having become her means of meaning, she finds "the right word ... like a telescopic sight," in which "all that had been furtive or confused resolves on the cross hairs of some deep delight." Truth, again, is monocular, but the effect of that telescopic stringing of the unsympathetic world with the intimate, focusing self is a stereoptical beauty.

There are some remarkable poems in this book, surely destined to land in tomorrow's anthologies, but they are best read here, where they benefit from their mutual resonance. One of my favorites, "Literature and Life" plays expectation against experience, imagination against existence, and attraction against repulsion-oppositions chillingly fused in the final image of a wife so scarred by her mastectomies that her loving husband cannot overcome his revulsion: "even the memory of the breasts / he'd cupped like fragrant peaches / made him gasp and shudder and deny her." Powerful as this encounter of incongruent emotions is, however, it is enhanced by being read in the company of Harrison's variations on its recurring theme and design. Similarly, the closing couplet in another poem-"How those who act must sneer at those who watch! / Some kinds of knowing change all the rules of sight -not only serves as a forceful emphasis on her tropes of vision but also calls attention to her fascination with counterchange as a structural strategy.

Throughout the collection, Harrison's poems brace disturbing observation of ravaging truth and the private yearning for a fulfilling delight, and in so doing they manifest an essential command of what makes poetry an art. Her phrasing strokes the grain of thought. She lights on what is real and immediate to then take wing and ride the currents of implication; put another way, she is a poet who firmly strikes the notes but who knows that the music rests in controlling the spaces between them. With each reading, her poems grow in richness and amplitude.

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