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The Visible


80 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations


  Paperback / 9780807142684 / March 2012

In The Visible, we enter into a surreal landscape “where it is neither day nor night / but both at once,” where light becomes an imaginative force that both illuminates and obscures. The illegible draws us closer to the page—the visible revealed, paradoxically, by what we cannot see.

Though these formally restrained poems possess an abstract and introspective intensity, Bond grounds them in the everyday. Both vivid and speculative, the chiseled lyrics breathe. In “My Mother’s Closet,” the pages of medical books become holy and horrendous, “soiled at the corners, the mind’s / terrific passages shocked with highlight, / glossed with scratches in a mother’s hand.”
Bruce Bond is the author of fifteen books, including For the Lost Cathedral, The Other Sky, and Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand. He is Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.

Praise for The Visible

“[An] elegant, unflinching, exquisitely written book.”—Pleiades

The Visible is replete with beauty, if on occasion imagery that is a bit too slippery. Perhaps this is an essential part of the attraction, as it is with Stevens, Ashbery, and Merwin. Bruce Bond is a general in the army of swirling images, marching into inimitable literary posterity.”—Rain Taxi

“In his remarkable new volume The Visible, Bruce Bond plumbs the ‘long dark well of questions,’ contemplating the mysteries of mortality and the vagaries of the human body—‘the flesh, the earth, / the things that make us, molten at the core.’ With characteristic formal precision and linguistic elegance, he reminds us of poetry’s ultimate purpose, to show us the ‘shining world outside the world.’ Bruce Bond is one of our finest poets.”—Claudia Emerson

“Bruce Bond is a lyric virtuoso of exceptional range who pilgrimages to the heart of experience, ‘somewhere between the dead / and the living, the root and the wing.’ As visceral as they are visionary, these poems of elegy and exploration compel us ‘to take the fear / of burning and wear it as a name, to be / that angel in the fire.’—Claire Bateman

“Reading this book of light, grief, fire, night, and the invisible life of the visible body, where the five senses are ‘the five fingers of a hand / that grips the world,’ we become fully human once again. ‘Consider it a blessing,’ says one poem, ‘that part of you / you cannot see.’ But Bruce Bond enables us to see; he is as fully and brilliantly a poet as anyone currently writing, and The Visible is not only a major achievement but, I suspect, a lasting one.”—B.H. Fairchild

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