The Mercy Seat
Collected & New Poems, 1967-2001
"If Joseph Stalin feared poets, so should you"—Norman Dubie
Copper Canyon Press is thrilled to present Norman Dubie's first collection in over a decade. Dubie is not simply a poet's poet, he is a reader's poet. His poems draw upon and recast the world's great tales, and salvages from the backwaters of human history moments of redemptive, imaginative beauty. The Mercy Seat collects new poems together with work from all of his seventeen previous, out-of-print books, and presents a major body of work.
"One of the most powerful and influential American poets-Dubie is perhaps best known for his dramatic monologues, the urgent personal histories of personages from the past-artists, writers, thinkers, and musicians. The famous speakers and renowned figures who appear-Ovid, Chekhov, Beethoven, Klee, Coleridge, Virginia Woolf, Ibsen and others-are, for Dubie, important exemplars of new ways of seeing, of new modes of perception. These poems have a fierce clarity and disarming ease; they are detailed and compassionate, personal yet universal."—Washington Post Book World
"The reader new to Mr. Dubie's work is likely to be struck first by the vigor of his forms and the bravery of his language.";-The New York Times Book Review
"A critic wrote, 'If Marc Chagall were an X-rated poet, he'd be Norman Dubie.'"-Norman Dubie
Norman Dubie is a Regents' professor at Arizona State University. He has been the poetry editor for The Iowa Review and the director of the graduate poetry workshop at the University of Iowa. His award-winning poetry includes The Clouds of Magellan, The Horsehair Sofa, Alehouse Sonnets, Groom Falconer and more. He lives with his wife and daughter in Tempe, Arizona.
The Friary at Blossom, Prologue & Instructions
The pond-lilies are like little executions
over the water, the flat physical collars
of aristocrats and the cords that lunge
for the bottom. The yellow perch circling
the impeccable underneath of farewell, government
and mud in April.
The image of a horse diving into water
ignores the wild dogs up on the cliff,