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Larry Eigner:

Black Sparrow Press
24 Tenth St.
Santa Rosa CA, 95401

192 pp., $13.00(cloth)

Eigner has been the inspiration for many poets who have read him, and read by many where he lives in the Bay Area, but he has never received the audience he deserves. He is simply one of the finest poets of a generation that included Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, and James Broughton, not to mention the Beat Poets. This volume, which covers the period 1959-1992, presents a large enough selection that someone, having never read Eigner, would come away with a good understanding of his work, not to mention a change in his or her way of looking at things. There is an almost Eastern sense of awareness in Eigner's poetry, a stillness in the imagery, so quiet & yet so intense. You can see the images in your mind's eye so clearly that when you move into an odd turn of phrase you move through it and are changed almost without your noticing it. The poem "July 22 87":

       water splashes
          At the surface
            and hits you
               whatever things
                 may be
                    or have been

But there is no way to do justice to Eigner's poetry in a short review, or in a long one. If you like poetry of any kind, from traditional to wildly experimental, you will be changed by reading this book. Very highly recommended.--Jake Berry

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #5,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1996.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press