Translations from the Flesh

Like the moon moving toward eclipse, the luminous realm of desire in Elton Glaser's superb new collection is always in danger of erasure by the mortal shadow thrown by the earth. Translations from the Flesh is a stunning journal of passage from adolescent audacity to mature reflection, and these poems are without question Elton Glaser's finest and most powerful work yet.
David St. John

Translations from the Flesh, Elton Glaser’s seventh full-length collection of poetry, is driven by the powerful engines of love and desire. In poems long and brief, playful and intense, Glaser evokes what it feels like “to fall into / Love and its infinite mistakes.” In a style that might be described as “flamboyant stoicism” (a phrase from Simon Callow,) he explores our human urgencies and weaknesses, following wherever our appetites lead us, whether hormonal or spiritual, cravings that we struggle to understand. The voice that says “Apprentice me to mysteries of the flesh” speaks for everyone intent on making sense of the body’s restless yearning for fulfillment. These poems, with their witty brio and passionate precision of language, agree with Gerald Stern that “the brain / is the best organ for love.” At the same time, they are not afraid to get down in the dirt, among the more primitive pleasures. Whatever their bent, from moony aspirations to “rare positions only the wicked know,” the poems express Glaser’s mission to give voice to those deep pressures that move us, body and soul: “I put my native tongue / To work, open to / The dark instincts of ecstasy.”

96 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 2013

isbn : 9780822962342

about the author

Elton Glaser

Elton Glaser is distinguished professor emeritus of English at the University of Akron, where he also directed the University of Akron Press and edited the Akron Series in Poetry. He is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently The Law of Falling Bodies and Translations from the Flesh. With William Greenway, he coedited I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio. Among his awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Poetry Award, and the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize.

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Elton Glaser