The California Poem
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The California Poem

Poems by Eleni Sikelianos

“To be homesick for the whole of California requires a vast imagination. Whitman in his way was always homesick for what lay ahead and behind him. And now Eleni, female on earth, takes on the grief-engorged plateau that lies between imagination and the already-known in this truly ambitious American poem. ‘It’ is Nature. ‘It’ also is a blur of remembered facts. ‘It’ is the haunt of these pages. The Female principle and product of California dreams it, ‘as if I were the sea.’” —Fanny Howe

October 2004
7 x 9 | 186 pages
Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-1-56689-162-2.

$20.00

Description

Glorious, expansive, and urgent, this is a new kind of epic poem for the new millennium.

California, hedonistically beautiful and increasingly endangered, is the star of this book-length poem that flies through time, memory, science, history, and imagination, mirroring the topography of the Golden State’s landscape and the history of its diverse cultures. Alternating between grand, Whitmanic tone and scope, Dickinsonian minute detail, Beat rhythms, New York School wit, and Objectivist sensibility, Eleni Sikelianos’ epic poem engages traditional lyricism with a breathtaking contemporary style and graceful urgency.

Awards

2005 Balcones Poetry Prize Finalist

Reviews

“To be homesick for the whole of California requires a vast imagination. Whitman in his way was always homesick for what lay ahead and behind him. And now Eleni, female on earth, takes on the grief-engorged plateau that lies between imagination and the already-known in this truly ambitious American poem. ‘It’ is Nature. ‘It’ also is a blur of remembered facts. ‘It’ is the haunt of these pages. The Female principle and product of California dreams it, ‘as if I were the sea.’” —Fanny Howe