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A Lens in the Palm

Kelly Grovier

A Lens in the Palm by Kelly Grovier
Categories: 21st Century, American, First Collections
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2008)
Out of Stock
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  • Tonight, the moon is a voice
    disguising a language
    you once found familiar

    and your hands have that strange
    look words sometimes get
    when looked at too long.

        from 'The shed'
    A Lens in the Palm speaks from a world of fragmented philosophies and troubled meditations. Haunted by the ghosts of Keats and Spinoza, of Rodin and Turner, the voices that echo through these poems lead us into a place that is at once familiar and dazzlingly strange. Poems materialise from a palimpsest of twenty-first-century cities 'Paris and New Orleans, Oxford, Milan' where declarations of faith and disbelief clash and blur. Here, the stars 'think themselves into existence', the bones of Giotto jangle, and the 'hairs on a dandelion fizz'.

    Cover image Shosan, Monkey reaching for the moon, Japanese woodcut c. 1910. Cover design

    The lens 11
    Moons 12
    The Consolation of Philosophy 13
    Ghosting 14
    The stars 15
    Conversions: the ruined statue of a saint 16
    Furcula 17
    The frequency 18
    There 19
    The recipe 20
    The line 21
    Gumbo 22
    What the ceiling said 23
    Mincing words 24
    Of thought – the train 25
    Midas 26
    Rodin’s Balzac 27
    The ancient of days 28
    Hierakonpolis 29
    Extraction 30
    The ledger 31
    Not amnesia 32
    ‘Nor even yet quite relinquish –’ 33
    The shed 34
    Tens and eight 35
    Via negativa 36
    Between stations 37
    Les Parapluies 38
    Rain, Steam, andSpeed 39
    The easel of Mantegna 40
    A spider in Trinity College chapel 41
    Reflections on a steel teapot 42
    In the National Library of Ireland 43
    The triple tree 44
    Metaphysics 45
    The six fifteen 46
    Camping out 47
    Spinnings 48
    Strange currencies 49
    Shutters 50
    The ghost grove 51
    Tractatus 52
    The things of snow 53
    Working some things through 54
    The metal clasp 55
    The night is like a dinosaur 56
    Giotto 57
    April morning 58
    Flickering out 59
    A suite of bats 60
    Landscape with coffee and wings 64
    Philosophy of language 65
    Sight, unseen 66
    Lacewing 67
    Palms 68

    Kelly Grovier was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and educated at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his doctorate from Oxford University in 2005 after being awarded a British Marshall Scholarship. Co-founder of the scholarly journal European Romantic Review, he is a regular contributor to the Times Literary ... read more
    Praise for Kelly Grovier 'The 'poetry is precise and well crafted' with 'delicate touches and nuances' that 'reveal a delight in the poetic treatment of sensory expression and cast Grovier as a poet acutely attuned to the intricacies and balances of light'.'
    The New Welsh Review
    'Wonderful precision, technical ambition, and the ability to surprise the reader'
    Poetry London
    'This is a poet of both truth and beauty'
    Times Literary Supplement
       '...Grovier's poetry at its best is formidable: the marriage of music and mind.'
    Alison Brackenbury, Poetry Wales
     'Grovier's poems are often amusing and childlike... The narrators may fret, but Grovier's craft stills poem and reader inside a "slip-knot of stars"'.
    New Welsh Review
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