The Ishtar Gate: Last And Selected Poems

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-12-01
  • Publisher: McGill Queens Univ Pr
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"We are always in the middle of life, looking forwards and backwards; the only movement we can make to defy physics and history is the journey of the spirit. The Ishtar Gate, a ceremonial gate from the palace of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon, reconstructed and housed in the Staatliche Museum, Berlin, is my personal symbol for the merging of ancient and modern culture, the old goddess-centred religions and the scholarly, rational West." So wrote Diana Brebner of the book she planned to write. Though cancer claimed her life before she could complete this project, she wrote some thirty poems towards it. Here is a poet in extreme control of her craft: the aesthetic refinement, the musicality of language, the spiritual vision, and the playfulness that drew readers to Brebner's previous award-winning books - "Radiant Life Forms," "The Golden Lotus," and "Flora & Fauna" - resonate with even greater force in her last poems. The elements - earth, air, water, and fire - are all here. And the voice is singular, full of elegance and abandon, an Old World respect for art and history and a New World desire for wilderness and adventure. From within the Ishtar Gate, we see a canoe on a northern lake, a scene from Vermeer, a line by Sylvia Plath, a Polaroid image of a heart, a jar of orange marmalade, a frozen Aphrodite in a field of snow. In this place of beauty and danger, the poems live. The Ishtar Gate testifies to Brebner's belief in "the indefatigable forces of poetry and imagination."

Table of Contents

Considered passion : the poetry of Diana Brebner
Snow angelsp. 3
Immolationp. 5
The children in that countryp. 6
Awake in the morning room, newly paintedp. 7
You, of all white women I have lovedp. 8
Radiant life formsp. 9
The sparrow drawerp. 10
What is homeless in me, and sightlessp. 15
Desire, mother and childp. 16
The radiant lady poemsp. 17
Open among the liliesp. 25
The golden lotusp. 26
Karunap. 30
Head of a girlp. 36
The perfect gardenp. 51
Eleven paintings by Mary Prattp. 52
Flora & faunap. 73
The black swanp. 74
Poison dart frogsp. 80
The green canoep. 84
Facing Buddhap. 86
Prints of lovep. 87
Pictures of an eclipsep. 88
Polycarbon butterfly unfurledp. 90
The pictures of my heartp. 92
At the Schwarzschild radiusp. 97
The blue light of the neutron poolp. 102
The troutp. 109
My hopep. 110
Portholep. 111
Portp. 113
For the poet who told me to think less and feel morep. 116
Frozenp. 118
Waitingp. 120
Morning on the guitarp. 122
The bridgep. 124
Detonation/notationp. 125
Variation on John Thompson's Ghazal XXXVIIIp. 128
The narrow lensp. 130
Venus velvet 6557 HBp. 132
The variable swansp. 133
Listening to Winterreisep. 135
A strangerp. 137
The Isis rattlep. 138
Access the calm serenep. 139
Concern for my soulp. 141
Karma's girlsp. 142
Servant of the musep. 143
Gaia recliningp. 144
Our Katep. 145
Orange marmalade Keiller recipep. 146
Slicing oranges in Kim's kitchenp. 147
Blood orangesp. 148
Silencep. 149
Silence IIp. 151
The nature of weaponsp. 152
That blue is all in a rushp. 153
The trout in the well : ideas on order & poetryp. 157
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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