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The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995 Paperback – June 17, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Palmer has long and rightly been considered the most lyrical, and the most aurally accomplished, among poets in the experimental tradition of Louis Zukofsky and Gertrude Stein; this selection spanning his career restores to print much of his influential work from the 1980s. Palmer traffics in paradoxical series of statements that challenge the limits of meaning: "the false sky has never been this blue." He invents semi-characters like "Brother Mouse with his parachute in mid-air"; conjures places called "Passages" and "Desire"; and unrolls meta-recursive titles: "Here the poem is called Theory of the Real, its name is Let's Call This, and its name is called A Wooden Stick. It goes yes-yes, no-no." Palmer (who is also a choreographer), seeks to substitute analytical, dancelike pleasures for the description and mimesis we expect from older poetry. His best poems highlight comic, vivid imagesA"our word-balloon, you will note, is slowly/ rising over the parched city" and interrupt themselves with human cries: "Each evening there's a poppy in my brain/ which closes before dawn/ Whatever happened then will not happen again/ Please move my arm." Palmer is sometimes classed with the West Coast's language poets, but his European influences, his delightful poems for children and his sometime mysticism render that label insufficient. His best work, for all its abstracted puzzles, has something to show anyone who wants to know where poetry might go next, or where its fringes have been.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Is he a Language poet? Palmer is as rigorously inventive as his Language peers, but the personal and political lurk here, too. His polished surfaces and linguistic experiments can be daunting, but this comprehensive collection of his work gives readers a way to approach them, revealing just how innovative he can be.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing; First Edition edition (June 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811213838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811213837
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Michael Palmer's poetry is so unique, & always unsparingly brilliant. This might be the most important book of his career, since it collects so much essential poetry he wrote over such a long period of time, such a major proportion of his life. He's done a lot more different things in his poetry since this book, & in the time span this selection covers. But this book is so important to get to know Michael Palmer, & what he's done to 20th & 21st century poetry.
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Format: Paperback
As something of a freelance poet, Michael Palmer is someone I've turned to for inspiration. I don't know any pseudo-intellectual words to describe it, but his manipulation of words and ability to touch people with even really abstract work astounds me. He moves me. For an example of some of the brilliant work in this collection, try looking at "The Sun" online. (...)
P.S. Who is the moron that copied and pasted rave reviews but didn't star them? It really deflated the score.
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Michael Palmer's interweaving of language, lyric, and history is almost unique in American poetry, and I believe he is a somewhat under-read poet because of people over-estimating his difficulty and frame of reference. This is a great introduction to the Michael Palmer's work spinning from the 1970s to the mid-1990s. Palmer's deep opposition to the confessional turn in late modernism is clear in the fugue quality in his earlier work. While often linked to Language poetry and to post-Objectivist poetry, Palmer's poetry feels more out of Spanish and French poetry as much as American. Often his poetry is elliptical where subtext is as important as text, but does not mean his poetry is unapproachable.
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