Recalculating by Charles BernsteinRecalculating by Charles Bernstein


byCharles Bernstein

Hardcover | March 13, 2013

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Long anticipated, Recalculating is Charles Bernstein’s first full-length collection of new poems in seven years. As a result of this lengthy time under construction, the scope, scale, and stylistic variation of the poems far surpasses Bernstein’s previous work. Together, the poems of Recalculating take readers on a journey through the history and poetics of the decades since the end of the Cold War as seen through the lens of social and personal turbulence and tragedy.
The collection’s title, the now–familiar GPS expression, suggests a change in direction due to a mistaken or unexpected turn. For Bernstein, formal invention is a necessary swerve in the midst of difficulty. As in all his work since the 1970s, he makes palpable the idea that radically new structures, appropriated forms, an aversion to received ideas and conventions, political engagement, and syntactic novelty will open the doors of perception to exuberance and resonance, from giddiness to pleasure to grief. But at the same time he cautions, with typical deflationary ardor, “The pen is tinier than the sword.” In these poems, Bernstein makes good on his claim that “the poetry is not in speaking to the dead but listening to the dead.” In doing so, Recalculating incorporates translations and adaptations of Baudelaire, Cole Porter, Mandelstam, and Paul Celan, as well as several tributes to writers crucial to Bernstein’s work and a set of epigrammatic verse essays that combine poetics with wry observation, caustic satire, and aesthetic slapstick.
Formally stunning and emotionally charged, Recalculating makes the familiar strange—and in a startling way, makes the strange familiar. Into these poems, brimming with sonic and rhythmic intensity, philosophical wit, and multiple personae, life events intrude, breaking down any easy distinction between artifice and the real. With works that range from elegy to comedy, conceptual to metrical, expressionist to ambient, uproarious to procedural, aphoristic to lyric, Bernstein has created a journey through the dark striated by bolts of imaginative invention and pure delight. 
Charles Bernstein lives in New York and is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as coeditor of  L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, the Electronic Poetry Center, and PennSound and cofounder of the SUNY-Buffalo Poetics Program. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Scie...
Title:RecalculatingFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:March 13, 2013Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226925285

ISBN - 13:9780226925288

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Table of Contents

The Truth in Pudding
Poem Loading . . .
Talk to Me
From Stone
Sane as Tugged Vat, Your Love
Two Stones with One Bird
Sad Boy’s Sad Boy
Blue Tile
The Honor of Virtue
Blown Wind
The Duck Hunters
Loneliness in Linden
Dea%r Fr~ien%d,
5 for MP
Brush Up Your Chaucer
The Importance of Being Bob
Every True Religion Is Bound to Fail
The Twelve Tribes of Dr. Lacan
Do Not Desensitize
Sea Drift
On Election Day
Last Words
I will not write imitative poetry
All Set
The Sixties, with Apologies
Not on My Watch
In Res Robin, Nibor Resalb Inscripsit Mentastrum (XXC)
Stupid Men, Smart Choices
Lenny Paschen Redux
Trouble Near Me
Irreconcilable Disrepair
sorrow where there is no pain
A Theory’s Evolution
How Empty Is My Bread Pudding
[“There once was a Young Woman of Whitechapel”]
Transegmental Drift
Incantation by Laughter
Great Moments in Taches Blanches
You Say Insipid, I say Inscripsit
[“To empty earth falling unwilled”]
A Long Time ’til Yesterday
Joint Dark Energy Mission
To a Begging Redhead
The Moment Is You
This Poem Is in Finnish
The Jew
Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links
And Aenigma Was His Name, O!
Armed Stasis
Unready, Unwilling, Unable
Recipe for Disaster
After Leminski
Catullus 85
Psychology of Composition (VII)
Venereal Muse
Poems for Rehab
Won’t You Give Up This Poem to Someone Who Needs It?
The Most Frequent Words in Girly Man
Death on a Pale Horse
Up High Down Low Too Slow (2)
Charon’s Boat
If You Say Something, See Something
[“Tomorrow, dawn . . .”]
Today Is the Last Day of Your Life ’til Now
Time Served
Synchronicity All Over Again
Le pont Mirabeau
The Introvert
Be Drunken
Long Before the Rain, I Wept
Before You Go
Notes and Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"A long tradition credits comedy as a force that distances us from the maladies of experience. . . Bernstein’s most recent volume of poems, Recalculating, brings us up against the 'black sun' of comedy, whose formal turbulence is shadowed on nearly all of its pages by the death (in 2008) of his daughter, Emma."