Paean to Place
Author: Lorine Niedecker
Editor: Cid Corman
Publisher: Light and Dust Books (2003)
William Carlos Williams proclaimed Lorine Niedecker "the Emily Dickinson of our time." It's taken a while for more than a handful of poets with extremely acute ears and sensibilities to see how true that is. This is something that comes from the poetry itself, not in the projection of Dickinson's semi-mythical reclusiveness onto Niedecker, but in the way both women wrote poetry that can be read for a lifetime without losing its magic or becoming dull. This book, produced as a celebration of the author's 100th birthday, is the first to follow Niedecker's conception of how her most intensely autobiographical poem should be presented. This is the first time Niedecker's work has been thus treated in print. The work chronicles her life and the lives of her parents, all three of which included great sorrow and loss, but Niedecker's clarity and sparkling verse never descend into sentimentality, bringing out that which makes life worth living despite its disasters.