Lawrence Goldstein’s Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City (University of Michigan Press) was released 1 May. In his preface, Goldstein notes that he has written not about individual poets. Rather, he wishes “to pay tribute to the poems, not (solely) to the places, for those poems have the potential to change our thinking about more than a single region. They map not only locations but the modes of consciousness and verbal invention….”
In his conclusion of the first chapter titled: “The Pacific Ocean of the Poets,” Goldstein writes: “The most recent landmark of topographical ambition is Susan Suntree’s Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California (2010)…based on extensive geological, archaeological, and ethnographic history. Gary Snyder refers to as an ‘epic’ in his Foreword; he might have compared it to religious and philosophical texts whose narratives are not of heroic feats of arms, but are philosophical accounts of natural evolution, as in Lucretius’s investigation into the nature of things….”
He also writes:“…the poem offers an experience of textuality comparable to the tradition of long-form American poetry and ecologically minded prose beginning in the early days of the Republic and reaching a crescendo in Leaves of Grass.”
It deeply pleases me to share this news about Sacred Sites being given literary consideration. I’ll post the complete text of Goldstein’s comments on the Sacred Sites page. Take a look!
April: The Green Grass month when grasses sprout.
May: The Big Big Month.
June: The Little Month of bright summer air
when the young eagles fly.
From SS p.154