from A Bibliography of the King’s Book or, Eikon Basilike

By Susan Howe b. 1937 Susan Howe
II. Conversion

I like to be stationary.
                      —Bartleby

Who is not a wild Enthusiast   

in a green meadow   

furious and fell

Arriving on the stage of history   
I saw madness of the world

Stripped of falsification   
and corruption

anthems were singing in Authorem

Father and the Father
by my words will I be justified

Autobiography I saw

Legal righteousness makes us servants   
All good hearers

Opposers or despisers
Night page torn word missing

The family silence   
gave up the ghost

I feared the fall of my child   

resting quietly with some hopes   

as a bird before any

Election—Vocation—
Justification—
Cape of Wind wreathe   
fame out laughing   
Seated on a cloud   
Seacret drift
seacretly behest   
the dear She
comes to all Guilty   
all circling
Eye window soul body   
Pride cannot bow   
Ariadne’s diadem   
zodiac helmet belt

Susan Howe, excerpt from “A Bibliography of the King’s Book or, Eikon Basilike” from The Noncomformist's Memorial. Copyright © 1993 by Susan Howe. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The Nonconformist's Memorial (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1993)

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Poet Susan Howe b. 1937

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Susan  Howe

Biography

One of the preeminent poets of her generation, Susan Howe is known for innovative verse that crosses genres and disciplines in its theoretical underpinnings and approach to history. Layered and allusive, her work draws on early American history and primary documents, weaving quotation and image into poems that often revise standard typography. Howe’s interest in the visual possibilities of language can be traced back to her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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