Roots and Branches
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Roots and Branches

4.58 of 5 stars 4.58  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  5 reviews
A reissue of Duncan's second major book of poems, first published in 1964.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 1st 1969 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Jan 26, 2012 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
"Apprehensions" reads like a poem I've been looking for--

How they ploughd the given field in rows, / prose and / versus . and brought landscape / into being,


I found a monument of what I am
around me as if waking were a dream,
a house built in the ancient time
when man like a salmon swam


the orders of the dead and the unborn that swarm in the floods of a man embracing his companion.


Even interested in the mythos outlined by the play that ends this book, "Adam's Way." And that's saying somethin...more
Fluor Beard
My second book by Duncan (reading from "Collected Later Poems and Plays" anthology). It was a bit more difficult to get through than "Opening of the Field" because I felt it was a bit more self-indulgent, but the play "Adam's Way" is lovely.
May 19, 2013 T. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Grasps you by the soul, dances with you, drops you. He studied his Sitwell and Helen Adam: the poems sing themselves to you. "There are echoes" of every syllable of every word, endless sonic reflection; wonderful assonance, slightly shifting tones, shames Stevens and betters even Pound. And all of this dwelling in an intricate, largely Neoplatonist ontology that I cannot help but find agreeable.
Jim Gardner
Robert Duncan's masterful Roots and Branches includes the Passages series (The Torso: Passages 18, The Spelling, The Architecture). Duncan's syncretic touch spans mid-20thc-life with a healing touch. The Torso presses the reset button on human sexuality (from a gay male's perspective) while The Architecture and The Spelling do similarly for building and philology respectively.
"The angel was of the gesture, appeard as the lure of flesh,
muscular invested, a pure emblematic physique,
standing for what scripture? Who are you?
where again you go as ever
attendant and guardian of all verdant thought."
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