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The Legend of Light (Wisconsin Poetry Series) Paperback – September 1, 1995

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Memories often link umbiblically," Hicok says in "Memory," a poem that captures the unconsciousness of some remembered responses: his two childhood distastes ("siamese tortures") for the Road Runner and having to catch his father's "psychotic" knuckleball connect to ruminations about an innocent man's ineradicable memories of imprisonment after his release from jail. With unadorned directness, Hicok details quotidian events: he sees a mother strike her child in the car waiting next to his at an intersection, notes the woman's instantaneous regret which is expressed in a hug that holds that car in place long after the light changes and he drives on. Hicok's lines move quickly, depicting a vision that doesn't seem to miss a thing but is able to see surprising wholes made up of parts. This collection of accomplished, un-self-conscious work was selected for the 1995 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry by Carolyn Kizer.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Hicok’s poems have a kind of severity, a moral accuracy, that both chills and refreshes the spirit, along with a technical virtuosity intrinsic to the work. He writes of the mundane with a brio that speaks to the meaning of ‘metaphysical’: beyond the physical, into the realms of light.”—Carolyn Kizer, Pollak Prize Citation

“The Legend of Light is a vivid, quirky, and deeply human book.”—Thomas Lux

“Bob Hicok’s poems go out ‘looking for what’s least,’ but they also keep their eye, in these failing days of our century, on the large view, ‘The term used / is megalopolis.’ This vast expanse is his terrain, and the subject he ably studies there is—us, it turns out; or what he calls the ‘heart’s jazz.’ He listens to that music most industriously.”—Albert Goldbarth

Product Details

  • Series: Wisconsin Poetry Series (Book 1995)
  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299149145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299149147
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 21, 1997
Format: Paperback
I have often read that literature is food for the mind. If that is so then poetry must be food for the soul and this book a feast for the spirit. Where literature deals with ideas, fantasies and the human condition, poetry deals with the emotions, the spirit; the very qualities that raise us above the lower animals (no comments from PETA, Please!).

Poetry reaches into each of us and touches that elemental being that many of us deny exists. The Legend of Light by Bob Hicok reaches in and not only touches but pokes, prods and grabs. This, his second book, is the result of winning the Felix Pollack Prize in Poetry administered by the University of Wisconsin.

His writing style is deceptively simple. He does not try to fry your brain cells with polysyllabic words or convoluted conceptual phrasings or make you tap a rythym. Instead he speaks to you using common vocabulary but painting such vivid imagery that your hackles rise and you shake to settle your fur.

Much of his work has a dark side or, rather, addresses the dark side we would rather ignore. Some poems are equipped with claws that dig into your heart and squeeze till tears come, tears not of pain but of empathy, of compassion. I could not finish his poem Visiting the Wall until the third attempt, his descriptive phrasing affecting me the same as if I had been there. I don't think Mr. Hicok was old enough to be a brother of mine from the 'Nam but he let me once again cry.

Another favorite of mine (actually, all but about two are favorites) is Surgery. If memory serves, this was written after his own surgery. If you have ever been undrer hte knife, you can feel as he speaks.
"Masked, they cut you, peel back
your skin for the legend of light
to enter your body.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The book arrived in excellent condition within scheduled delivery time.

Thank you,

Francine Keehnel
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The Legend of Light (Wisconsin Poetry Series)
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