The Hermit

The Hermit

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Author: Laura Solomon

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2011)

In this third collection of poems by Laura Solomon, the Hermit embodies the complicated search for simplicity and shared solitude both at home and abroad. These poems explore the struggle to articulate a precision in language, people, places, and emotions by placing the poet at the heart of a monomyth. This is a gut-wrenching collection that meditates on truth, the unconscious, and the sacrifices of love.

"Is Laura Solomon Gertrude Stein? Yes and no. She's an anti-Gertrude Stein. Both. Slim, elegant, light, passionate and compassionate. The tigress. A singing knitting device, crucial to the American line, spurting freedom and disegno. Her Hermit is fresh air."

–Tomaž Šalamun

"When I first read poems by Laura Solomon, I could hardly digest all of the emotional force combined with work always elegantly constructivist. She still, for me, is one of the few poets who is more open than any mere confessional but is also suddenly capable, or always capable, of giving a dream streaming of thoughts within the suffering, happy narrator, usually masterful, vulnerable, and therefore marvelously multiple. Would negatives help? Her poems are full of anaphora but not weighted down by empty repetitions. She has not bought into the dogma of our time, which is either to write ironic little poses and proses, or to take arms with a sea of surrealisms. She surprises. She is writing in extremis, meditations of a woman who is pushing, like a cosmological constant, against the usual gravity. She is bare but always capable. The poems are heart-breaking, as one says of James Schuyler or Randall Jarrell. Laura Solomon is part of a new visionary company that makes a photograph of exile, rhythm, and exaltation."

–David Shapiro