A new collection by one of our foremost masters of free verse as well as formal poetry.
The moody poems in Madame X, the author’s tenth collection, find their subjects in the byways of the past two centuries. Henry James visits his birthplace, the most beautiful woman in Europe ends up in a barrel at a fun fair, and a minor writer succumbs to tuberculosis at a German spa. In the title poem, the portrait of Madame X offers our century a lesson in seduction; but such public shows are balanced by poems of private desire, of whispers, of age, of the present always vanishing before us. These densely figured poems, rich in language and appointment, argue for a knowledge not sustained by the everyday. This is a triumphant collection of shimmering intensities and hard truths.
National Book Critics Circle Award winner William Logan is one of the most technically gifted poets of his generation; his work has frequently elicited comparison to W. H. Auden and Robert Lowell, and has been called brilliant, formidable, passionate, and cranky. Donald Hall has written of him that “he writes like an angel–an elegant, literary angel,” and Sven Birkerts has commented that “he is like the eel in the well–a purifying agent.” This new volume of fifty-four poems displays Logan’s trademark refinement and classicism.