The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser Hardcover – Jan 8 2007
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"Blaser is a fine poet and a superb representative of a tradition that is still undervalued. His work is very important."Charles Altieri
"Blaser plays his poems like an instrument. The glorious phrases that come forth ring with the memory of fairy tale, myth, gospel, but hang hard on to the modern world in his variety of measure and stress. Blaser is moving us all forward to a less certain result through a forest that has few resting places where the sun stays for longer than a minute."Fanny Howe
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Underlying this achievement, Blaser moved in opposite directions at once, perhaps trusting his muse more than ever, a contradictory one for sure, one that was leading him to go more and more slangy, colloquial, partial, aphoristic and playful; and then on what in a lesser poet you might call an opposite direction, he became the poet of lengthening odes and longer forms. You would ask him how a particular poem was shaping up, and with a mixture of marvel and abasement he might whisper, "It's now over fifteen pages--just grew," he would add. And so we have the "Great Companions," and "Exody," and the rest, these intricate, phenomenal structures. If you could visualize the poems in THE HOLY FOREST as real trees, spreading in visual space as they have in time, you might see towards the end of the range huge redwoods, where before you had had mere groves of oak, maple, and cherry. In our time he has been all things together the best kept secret of postmodern poetry; it's just fantastic that Cal has seen fit to issue this book--not only this, but a companion volume of collected essays ("The Fire"). May the saints preserve him, as my mother used to say, when she wanted to make sure someone most dear would stay safe and unafraid.
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