A Drowning Man Is Never Tall Enough
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A Drowning Man Is Never Tall Enough


Title Details

Pages: 96

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 01/01/1990

ISBN: 9-780-8203-1158-6

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 04/01/2017

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5226-8

List Price: $62.95

Related Subjects

POETRY / American / General

A Drowning Man Is Never Tall Enough


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  • Description
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This is a poetry of excursions: into maps of lost territories, into the thoughts of a man with no legs, into the life of a town marked by disasters.

Patrick Lawler moves into the slender lines of shattered glass, the spaces between lyric and narrative, between metamorphosis and mutation. From the artful surface of a Russian novel, rich with symbolism and white bears, to a survivor's unwillingness to immerse himself in life or leave it, the poems in A Drowning Man Is Never Tall Enough hunger for a language beyond the solid, for the fragmentation that makes a scene complete.

Brilliance in poetry isn't always to be coveted; sometimes a poet is so blinded by the gorgeous phrase that meaning seems irrelevant—a feeling the reader rarely shares. In the case of Patrick Lawler, however, verbal brilliance is put in the service of deep philosophic probing: the question is 'how to distinguish / evil from benign absurdity' in a world where the 'dark dream names' of wars are brought to us nightly in 'talking light.' The poet, struck with the loss of moral certainty, finds even language slips away from what it tries to pin down. . . . This fine first book should appeal to readers who share Lawler's concern for the moral and the real.


About the Author/Editor

PATRICK LAWLER is the director of the Writing Program at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He is also the author of the poetry collections Feeding the Fear of the Earth and Reading a Burning Book.