Bin Ramke | Tendril | Gazelle Books


Author: Bin Ramke | ISBN: 1890650269 : 9781890650261 | Format: Paperback | Size: 135x230mm | Pages: 117 | Weight: .206 Kg. | Published: IPG (Omnidawn Publishing) – September 2007 | Availability: In Print | Subjects: Poetry texts & anthologies

In his ninth poetry collection

Mr. Ramke exposes the myriad tendrils that bind together to become experience. Both intensely intimate and profoundly objective, his lyrically elegant, vibrantly elastic sentences allow a reader to follow the personal, cultural, literary, philosophic, artistic threads that intertwine to create our conscious understandings. Mr. Ramke examines not only the impact of family, culture, class, gender, historical moment, landscape, but also the ways that the language we use becomes for us the skein of our reality. From inch worm moths to Gregg shorthand, from trash-fishing on the bayou to the horrors of world war, from the healing powers of teatime and the impact of great art and literature to the profound devastation of the floods upon our southern landscape and the people who struggle to live on there, Bin Ramke shows us how the tendrils of meaning running through them all are made of words, which weave together to form the fabric of our lives.

Mr. Ramke

has written eight previous poetry collections, including Airs, Waters, Places; Matter; and Wake. He holds the Phipps Chair in English at the University of Denver, and he also teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was awarded the Pushcart Prize four times, in 1985, 1986, 1997 and 1998. He was awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize two times, in 1994 and 1998. And, he was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1978. Mr. Ramke grew up in east Texas and south Louisiana. He has been a teacher for more than thirty years. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Bin Ramke’s poetry presents itself as the product of curious research on many different topics, most particularly etymology, but with side trips to mathematics, Greek philosophy, the poetry of Rilke and Christopher Smart–just about anything, in fact. It’s a poetry unlike any other, though its accumulations of seemingly random minutiae that suddenly turn monumental and strange are a little reminiscent of Marianne Moore. He leads us down “a path metaphoric, a path of mind, a way unintended” to a surprising-and dark-enlightenment. Tenril is an extraordinary book.–John Ashbery

In his opening “Esthetic,” Bin Ramke notes that “none / should assume beyond his own his isolation.” And yet what is most daring about this book is that Ramke does _not_ assume his own or others’ isolation. His toolbox (a rich neighborhood of texts) spilleth over, contains (rather, fails to contain) Renaissance poems, Diane Arbus’s biography, mathematics, philosophies of mind, considerations of the American south, and the OED, among many others. This is a beautiful and wrenching book, one of whose central texts revolves around the serving of tea in a madhouse. Hold that image: it fits Ramke to a T.–Susan M. Schultz


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