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The Long Fault

Poems

88 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / None

Poetry

  Hardcover / 9780807133033 / March 2008
  Paperback / 9780807133040 / March 2008

In The Long Fault, Jay Rogoff explores how the disasters of human history scar the individual psyche and how our creative acts of art and love help us to resist this damage. After opening with Cain launched into exile—"from the good book hurled / out to beget the world"—Rogoff then sweeps us along in his imaginative wanderings, pondering our mortality through the means and powers poetry makes available. The poems explore sacred and secular history, including wars as ancient as Troy and as contemporary as Iraq, and incidents of mass violence from the Middle Ages to modern times. They simultaneously enlist the

power of all forms of art as an ally in confronting disaster and helping us proceed.

In a great variety of forms both traditional and experimental, Rogoff's poems meditate on "the long fault" into which we will all tumble. Like Hamlet staring into the eyes of Death, The Long Fault resists the encroaching dark with the imaginative sympathy, strong lyricism, and strange humor that powerful poetry can provide.

"Cain's Gift"

The blood cried up from the ground
and the air held its breath, 
the earth's sunset-stained 
face now an epitaph 
for Abel's head and hands 
thrust up from the grave, 
that childish face profiled, 
those hands clasped, a child

imagined by the sculptor 
petitioning the God 
who'd let the model murder 
play out unimpeded. 
From brother to his keeper
the singing from the sod 
rose, a sunset lark 
whose quavers left their mark

on Cain's consciousness, 
setting him aquiver 
at walking the cooling face 
of earth, banished forever
from Salisbury's Chapter House, 
a period put to his chapter, 
and from the good book hurled 
out to beget the world.

Jay Rogoff has published four previous books of poems, including The Art of Gravity and The Long Fault. His poetry and criticism appear in many journals, and he is The Hopkins Review’s dance critic. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he teaches at Skidmore College.

Review Quotes for The Long Fault

"Art lives and life becomes art, each reaching through the other toward the divine, which is also and inevitably flawed. The Long Fault is dazzling, soaring, and inspiring poetry." — Andrew Hudgins

"Like the guy he spies playing the trumpet while speeding down the freeway, Jay Rogoff takes us zephyring through history, playing his music while sitting behind the wheel." — Lucia Perillo

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