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Eleanor Wilner loosens the attachments of traditional figures to the old historical ground and sets them free—to suggest how it might have been otherwise, and might still be. This is the most important book yet from the acclaimed poet and MacArthur prize winner.

"Otherwise is ambitious and patient, built on the spider’s stratagem: the poet throws out a long tentative thread, then spins carefully outward until we see the new shape standing on air."—Carol Muske, The New York Times Book Review

"In a book of poems, one is happy to find half a dozen remarkable performances—poems worth rereading and even committing to memory. In Otherwise—which is splendid from the title on—it would be hard to find half a dozen which failed to equal Wilner’s stratospheric standard."—David Slavit, Seven Arts

Read an excerpt.

140 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1993

Phoenix Poets


Table of Contents

Night Fishing in the Sound
From the Other Side
Being as I Was, How Could I Help . . .
When Asked to Lie Down on the Altar
Ume: Plum
Saving the Images
Recurrence in Another Tongue: Homage to "Tristia" and Osip Mandelstam
The Walls
Small Passage between Eons
The Love of What Is Not
1. Cityscape
2. E. T., I. U., and That Old-Time Religion
Operations: Desert Shields, Desert Storm
Bat Cave
Variations on the Ides of March
The Bird in the Laurel’s Song
How to Get in the Best Magazines
The Muse
Out of the Hellespont
Leda’s Handmaiden
The Lament of the Valkyrie
After the Snow Queen Lost Her Charm
". . . as soft and as pink as a nursery . . . "
The Secret Garden
Last Words
Fears about the Moon
Those Who Come After
Generic Vision, 1991
Atget’s Gardens
What Was Left Over
Freed from Another Context
Remedios Varo as Daphne
The Mulch
Kazuko’s Vision
American Painting, with Rain
Changing the Imperatives

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