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Quantum Lyrics

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Employing both narrative and cinematic structure, A. Van Jordan re-creates the lives of his subjects: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, comic-book superheroes (The Green Lantern, The Atom), along with aspects of himself revealed in poems of recollection and loss. With lyric intensity he suggests that contemporary physicists are also metaphysical poets.
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company
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A. Van Jordan is a damn fine poet.
B. And I dare you to type his name at the beginning of a sentence and press return because due to the nature of Jordan’s name your word processor will most likely predict the formatting you see here.
C. Which is a little inappropriate and entirely wrong.
D. But there you have it, Van. Even Your Name has stirred a poetic form.

If Americans are getting dumber and not reading, then they’re certainly not reading poetry. And I can’t think of a medium more appropriate f
Derrick Carr
I appreciated this book for it's clarity, Jordan's matter-of-fact way of writing, and the concepts he employed to do his work. Personally, the book is inspiring to me because the conceits he used for his superhero poems are things I've been wanting to do for years and felt I needed permission, precedent, or a blueprint.

For all of the good things this book did for me and the emotions it evoked, I don't recall being floored by too much in it. It was solid. I'm glad I read it. This copy was borrow
I will be honest, I was expecting a bunch of lyrical calisthenics. Pyrotechnics, flashes, episodic visions. But all be told, this collection was much more of a slow burner, more meditative and deliberate. Methodical. It was deeply affecting, and also many realize how much of a share contact with the author given I too am black and I too I'm almost 40. I am mostly a fan of the poet Rilke and his high vatic voice. But here, you find a poet trying to be no one but himself, resonating with his own s ...more
Tara Betts
In QUANTUM LYRICS, Jordan is probably doing his most skillful blending of personal narrative, persona poem and historically-influenced poems. I really enjoyed this delicate balance in Natasha Trethewey's NATIVE GUARD, but it's really the poems like "Que Serra Serra," "The First Law of Motion" and the whole Einstein series. Apparently, the life of Einstein is just as interesting as his political stances. Not only did Einstein take vocal stances against racism, but his first wife Mileva Maric was ...more
Quantum Lyrics in Flux

Quantum Lyrics explores the poetic in scientific polemics. Jordan writes in equations, including historical figures, comic book characters, the speaker’s family and acquaintances. Certain pieces, specifically “R&B” and “The Green Lantern Unlocks the Secrets of Black Body Theory,” stand out, capturing the simplicity, elegance, and austere beauty (and humor) of the scientific. Other poems seem pedantic in comparison, as if they were merely an exercise in completion.

As a
This book was pretty disappointing after the brilliance of MACNOLIA. Here AVJ completes a series of poems mostly about Einstein (also about some comic book characters) and does so using the schtick of involving language in mathematics or einsteinian physics in his descriptions (mostly persona poem monologues) of human situations - these overlays are obvious and uninteresting - relativity being used to explain how time seems to slow when you are with a beautiful woman, the simple forms of equatio ...more
Exhilarating. I've never used that word to describe anything before, but it suits this book best.
great collection of poems about physicists -einstein, feynman, schrodinger- and science heroes -the flash, the green lantern, and the atom. the atom sequence of poems is amazing & has great titles like "The Superposition of the Atom" & "The Uncertainty of the Atom" & "The Atom and Hawkman Discuss Metaphysics". The notes & bibliographic sources in the back are really keen too.
Poetry. Jordan writes about science, superheros, and race in various combinations, some of which seem like they shouldn’t work but do, almost all of which are incredibly thinky and cool. As I’m writing this, I really wish I still had this book to look through and reread; it’s one I really wish I could have stolen from the library.
Katey Schultz
Beautiful, lyrical, smart, and deeply imagined. Narrative after interwoven narrative fills this rich collection's pages, and it's impossible to appreciate all the richness with one reading. A. Van Jordan is a master and this book, perhaps his opus, invites readers into his layered and thought-provoking world.
loved the reach of Macnolia, and how there were so many stories that seemed to get told through Van Jordan's forms and characters. Quantum Lyrics has some splendid sections, but I feel like some sections are too held back, or sculpted. It's a wonderful book, and must be read ... the Einstein letters are amazing.
Antoine  McGrath
Apr 14, 2009 Antoine McGrath is currently reading it
Reminiscent of Einstein's Dreams in character, but with far less concepts and more attention to words themselves. A bridge between Einstein's dreams and Kenneth Koch's work.
Tried to get through this book of poetry, failed. A shame -I had been intrigued by the premiss, topic and the author himself.
Ava Butzu
Holy zeus. This is a terrifically configured symphony of poems. Coolest concept for organizing life narratives.
Dec 16, 2007 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
for some reason I was expecting the poems to be about physics equations. maybe that's why I was disappointed?
Poetry derived from the influence of quantum physics and DC comics. How can you not love that?
These poems were absolutely gorgeous. I'm so glad I read this book.

My friend, my frat brother...what an inspiring read.
Absolutely wonderful!
sometimes mediocre
Kevin marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
K.R. Mackenzie
K.R. Mackenzie marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2015
Natfoxxfiends marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2015
Richard Tokebroker
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Jan 23, 2015
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