Prose 22

By Michael Palmer b. 1943 Michael Palmer
Plan of the City of O. The great square
curves down toward the cathedral. The
water runs out into night where the patron
saint still maintains his loft. He enters
from the lower level and pulls up the ladder
after him. The woman and children and
most of the old men spend their time painting
pictures of the ladder. The rest lay the
three kinds of stone or type the performance
for the eastern quarter. There the first
colony left its box-shaped mark. But   
the sun always goes down in several places,
so the clocks serve as maps. And at the
end of the nearest mountain stands the
larger and less perfect box.

Michael Palmer, "Prose 22" a part from Series from The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995. Copyright © 1998 by Michael Palmer. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The Lion Bridge (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1998)

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Poet Michael Palmer b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Michael Palmer was born in New York City and educated at Harvard in the early 1960s, where he encountered Confessional poetry. His opposition to Confessionalism found root in a developing poetics when he attended the landmark 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, a three-week gathering where he met Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Clark Coolidge. Correspondence with those three poets greatly influenced Palmer’s early development . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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