Born in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1946 Paul Hoover is not only the editor of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry (which this blog is dedicated to), but also the author of over a dozen collections of poetry, a book of literary essays, and a novel. He co-translated volumes of poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin (from German) and Nguyen Trai (from Vietnamese) and is editor, with Maxine Chernoff, of the literary magazine New American Writing.
Apart from this work as a poet and editor, he has also worked as a scriptwriter and served as curator of a poetry series at the DeYoung Museum of Art in San Francisco from 2007 to 2011.
His many honours include the PEN/USA Translation Award, the Jerome J. Shestack Prize, the Frederick Bock Award from Poetry, the Carl Sandberg Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
A former professor at Columbia College Chicago, he founded the Columbia Poetry Review. He currently teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Mill Valley, California.
http://www.paulhooverpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/ (Hoover’s blog)
The below poem is inspired by a line from Hoover’s “Heart’s Ease”, which serves as its title and thematic starting point.
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A thinking is prepared for the reader who breaks
It’s a messy scene like a bomb site with pieces of scattered human consciousness all over the floor where preconception collided with novelty of thought. You wonder if that’s what they liked to call de-constructivist and if Derrida in a trench coat like Columbo in the 70s would come around soon to inspect the scene.
Question to the mourning widow: “What were you thinking?” “He was reading,” she cried. “But what were you thinking?” “This and that, you know how thoughts fly.”
It’s a messy scene like a bomb site with pieces of scattered human consciousness all over the floor where a particular type of stubborn presumption collided with the unexpected.
“They all thought he would make it through the night.”
In the interrogation cell: “What kind of text was it?” “He was reading,” she cried. “Inspector, everything was as usual. His life insurance wasn’t even that much.”
You wonder if that’s what they liked to call de-constructivist.
Question (aside): “Who prepared it for him – whodunit? howcatchem?”
A messy scene like a bomb site with pieces of shattered human consciousness all over the floor.