Robin Blaser


Griffin Poetry Prize 2008
Canadian Winner

Book: The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser

Poet: Robin Blaser

Publisher: University of California Press

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Robin Blaser reads Image-Nation 21 (territory

Image-Nation 21 (territory, by Robin Blaser

Image-Nation 21 (territory

wandering to the other, wandering
the spiritual realities, skilled in all
ways of contending, he did not search
out death or courage, did not
found something, a country,
or end it, but made it endless,
that is his claim to fame, to
seek out what is beyond any single
man or woman, or the multiples
of them the magic country that
is homeland

the bridges I strained for, strings
of my vastness in language, and
the cars rushed by in both
directions flashing at one another

the mechanic of splendour, sought
after, chanted in the windy
cables and the river sailed,
haphazard, under the solitude

he had only the stories to tell, naked
and plotless, the spiritual territories,
earth-images and sky-maps, dark
at the edges

the mechanic of the marvelous dreamed
of Stalin and Hitler and the ordinary,
endlessly knew where he had gone
and, then, came back, whatever happens
if, I said – I was talking to religionists –
you gain social justice,
solve the whole terror, then where
is god? certainly not in happiness
and since god is not in unhappiness,
there you have it the skilled
adventure in hostilities with no name

From The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser, by Robin Blaser
Copyright © 2006 The Regents of the University of California

One Reply to “Robin Blaser”

  1. I remember admiring Robin Blaser’s big beautiful reading ring — I think it was an opal — that I later read he always wore when he performed. I’m so grateful I had the chance to hear him before he left us.

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