The Madeleine Poems


ISBN 978-1-890650-48-3
November 2010

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Advanced praise for The Madeleine Poems:

"Into the restless profusion of contemporary poetics comes a new figure, Madeleine. She comes in a series of meditations and invocations, and seems somehow shielded from the brute violence and exposure that pervades our lives. 'There must be a common/ thing to strive for/ as for a system/ of limits.' History is here, in uneasy tangents; landscape is here, lonely in its names; luminous images are here but they are not pictures; music is here in a spare, phrasal pacing. George Oppen wrote 'we abandon one another.' Here, in The Madeleine Poems, modernity's abandonment becomes a bare harbor into which sail vessels carrying unexpected cargo: 'Then there was no body but a garment./ Then you are naked in the day's corridors./ I am a tassel. Do/ beware me.' One imagines a crowd on the shore, welcoming Paul Legault's beautiful fleet of poems." —Ann Lauterbach

"The Madeleine Poems is a book I have long been looking for. 'Madeleine' is a voice and a vision which gracefully announces the world. As one of the poems says, 'It shows it forth—this /wide menagerie of things and of pictures /and of pictures of things.' Pictures which include 'the cordage of the Susquehanna,' and the brave world, not new, but newly brave, evoked by a poet's language of amazement. If making poetry is an ultimate proof of the humanity of the maker, then Paul Legault's invitation is for us all to, not listen to these poems, but to be them—to truly enact them." —Bin Ramke

"Proust may have had his memorable madeleine, but it doesn't hold a candle to the remarkable, shape-shifting title figure of Paul Legault's superb debut collection, The Madeleine Poems. You've heard it here first: this is one of the most exciting, mysterious, alarming, and compelling collections you will read this year." —David St. John

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