Bronze / Billie Chernicoff

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 "The poet reads things. And she knows them all, this poet of our precise and beautiful ordinary language. She handles them, fondles them even, with her eyes, eyes that traverse the salients and re-entrants of bronze artifacts with the fluid grace of a gymnast. That's what pleases me most in this wonderful poem, or book of poems, this living museum of human responses to human work—the quiet alertness of her breath, the way the lines let us travel with her perceptions, breathing for us almost, showing us how to see. Old bronze seen new. No hint of antiquarian scholarship here—the years fall away, leaving only the moss-green patina, time's only gift, green, color of Venus."—Robert Kelly 

"While Billie Chernicoff is a stunningly new poet, she is also one who brings multiple pasts & presents into the work, with incredible grace and a feeling for image and sound that never lets up. Reading her now I sense the new and old worlds of my traditions and hers—ours—emerging through a voice that speaks genuine poetry as I want and need it. BRONZE is news that stays news, as someone once had it."—Jerome Rothenberg 

"Reading BRONZE, I am reminded of Charles Olson's notion of how 'the inner structure of language recapitulates the inner structure of the world.'...The poems project a slideshow of carefully etched images; a casting onto the mind through word and rhythm, a phanopoeia of the vessels and carvings. Indeed, the vector forces that come together to create these poems are in phase with one another—and it is with humor, sensuality, and play that they are revealed."—Kristin Prevallet 

"Here the unalloyed pleasure of significant soundings rubs up against the beauty of indestructible bronze, resulting in perfect pitch—ekphrasis as ecstasy, in vessels, busts, ewers, and urns, holding wine and song, ashes and a rumor, vanishing. These poems stick to the real like bronze sticks to the bone, 'and if you get cut / heal the blade.'"—David Levi Strauss

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