“In her belief that observation of the external world can give order to thought and feeling, Brosman seems to share the beliefs of Wallace Stevens and the French impressionists.”—Robert Watson
“On this familiar planet all is strange,” writes Catharine Savage Brosman, and with that she takes her reader on an eye- and mind-opening journey that starts, cocktail in hand, at the Columns Hotel veranda on New Orleans’s St. Charles Avenue and flies to such memorable and varied sites as the rainy bank of London’s Thames, an English greengrocer’s winter produce bin, an abbey on the Norman plain, an island under palms where “the flames of bougainvillaea and the hibiscus burn magenta,” and across the Utah line. “Remember, though,” the poet warns, “a manual for tourists this is not—/adventures in the mind are what you’ve got.”
And the mind’s eye that refracts these vivid places is unmistakably Brosman’s, richly allusive, deeply meditative, and ranging widely. In language always controlled and precise, Places in Mind offers readers “on this hurtling missile” of modern pace “days of sweet, slow syrup,” “a silken, seamless afternoon.” Both cerebral and sensuous, Brosman’s poems cause time, thought, and subject to luster and converge.
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