Crossing to Sunlight Revisited

New and Selected Poems

Title Details

Pages: 112

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 04/01/2007

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2944-4

List Price: $19.95

Related Subjects

POETRY / American / General

Crossing to Sunlight Revisited

New and Selected Poems

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards

Crossing to Sunlight Revisited offers both a retrospective and a current look at the work of Paul Zimmer. It contains twenty-three poems not included in Zimmer's previous career-spanning work, Crossing to Sunlight, or, as Zimmer writes, "a total of seventy-three poems, one for each of the years I have lived."

When Crossing to Sunlight appeared in 1997, the Gettysburg Review described Zimmer as a poet who "invests language with the vitality of desire" and who "unlike many poets in his generation, has forgone stylistic complacency and continued to explore the possibilities inherent in language."

Being a poet, says Zimmer, is "perhaps the only courageous thing I have done in my life." Here is a generous measure of that courage, of that body of work that once moved Robert Olen Butler to write, "I turn again and again to Zimmer's poetry to remind myself what the essence of all literary art is: the moment."

For the past fifty years Paul Zimmer has been writing poems about violence and cruelty as they appear in the schoolyard, in the daily experience of adults, and in the Nevada desert where he witnessed atomic bomb tests as a G.I. in a foxhole. His mouthpiece character, 'Zimmer' (with his gang of blue-collar cronies), is almost confessional at times, albeit with a grand sense of humor that tempers the bad news and convinces us that even in our worst moments we are not unique and therefore not alone. Who but Zimmer has lately studied the sky with such attention? Who else writes poems as accessible, and conveys our common stumbling with such understanding and forgiveness? If Americans looked for answers in real books, Zimmer’s Crossing to Sunlight Revisited would be riding in a lot of back pockets.

—Brendan Galvin, author of Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005

Were he an animal, Zimmer would be an elephant: 'Once in a while I'd charge a power pole / Or smash a wall down just to keep / Everybody loose and at a distance.' Were he a machine, he'd be an old train stoked with moonlight and atomic trauma and ripe apples whose circles revolve 'all the way / Out to the round ends of the universe.' Here he is, our original and robust bluesy American jazz romantic at his chosen best. Welcome to Ground Zimmer.

—William Heyen, author of Shoah Train: Poems

I can't remember when I've read a book of poems I enjoyed as much as Zimmer's Crossing to Sunlight Revisited. Here is an entire life, distilled to a lovely, celebratory essence.

—Ted Kooser, 2004-2006 Poet Laureate of the United States

I turn again and again to Zimmer's poetry to remind myself what the essence of all literary art is: the moment.

—Robert Olen Butler

Zimmer's work is alone-truly unique-in its being recognizably different. He has had the genius to invent a style, and a whole imaginative outlook of his own, at a time when everyone thought it was impossible.

—Hayden Carruth


Posner Book-Length Poetry Award, Council for Wisconsin Writers


Ohioana Book Award, Ohioana Library Association

About the Author/Editor

PAUL ZIMMER is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Family Reunion, which won an Award for Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and The Great Bird of Love, which was selected by William Stafford for the National Poetry Series. He splits his time between a farm in southwestern Wisconsin and a small house in the south of France.