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One Hundred Etudes
Benjamin Friedlander

978-1-890311-34-6
2012, 320 pgs

$18.00


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A celebration of word and world, craft and attention, constraint-based in form, wide-ranging in content; a long poem folded up like a measuring stick, set snugly in its box; a box overflowing with all that the poet has given his measure.

"These études are virtuoso performances that reflect movingly on the historical conditions through and against which writers have adapted their strategies and attitudes. Over a century of poetic principles and theorems are focused here into a concerted series of expressions, operating within the rigorous, even alienating, requirements Friedlander articulates as follows: 'It must / Be methodical, must / Be a strict // Translation of sounds / Threading intimations through / An eye so // Narrow, light misses / The mark.' The voices of progenitors are stylistically historicized without losing their urgency, and simple observations are invested with a sometimes crushing weight."—K. Silem Mohammad

"The apparently minimalist triplets of ONE HUNDRED ETUDES spill over, spill down from one to the next, until they form a kind of twisting cascade composed of sayings you almost recognize, but now they've changed, turned into something else, and they will keep turning, thrillingly, as the world does. Can you keep up?"—Rae Armantrout