614 pages. ISBN 978-1-907489-11-2
Frank Samperi was born in Brooklyn in 1933. A contemporary of Louis Zukofsky and Cid Corman, he published some twenty books of poetry and appeared prominently in journals such as Origin and Caterpillar. He died in Arizona in 1991. The present volume collects together for the first time three key works from the 1970s and includes appreciations by Robert Kelly, Peter O'Leary and Elizabeth Robinson.
Praise for Frank Samperi:
Frank Samperi’s core trilogy of books (The Prefiguration, Quadrifariam, Lumen Gloriae) occupy a liminal space, that of an unwritten addendum to Dante’s Purgatorio or a preface to his Paradiso, or something like the sudden, hazy emergence of a city bridge at twilight. Weighted & weightless as light’s filigree, the Trilogy traces the double-work of ‘vision’ with a modest, steady loop; transmissions passing between the observing body & the worlds that envelop it. Never giving in to complete abjection—the poet laid prone and bare—this work instead engages a seemingly slight, yet purposeful movement; verses slowly chipping away at a blacked-out window, little streams of light at the effort. And as the living body, in its basic workings, is always spiritual, always drawing and channeling its own spiritus, Samperi as the modern man & the man out of time, brings the body back into the work of the spirit. Experiencing this remarkable lyric cycle of flesh and soul feels akin to ‘being made whole’.
For two decades these books have gone with me everywhere, so that now they’ve become lenses that identify — the silence greater because of the roofs — old doors / at the edge / of a lot — that one writes for angels, and that the poet is ever an orphan in this world, with language itself — la lingua degli angeli — a lost inheritance. One remains a wayfarer at the end of each poem, sequence and volume. Still there is spiritual progress, further impoverishment, ascesis. For Frank Samperi, poems are facets, and the final book a multidimensional crystal, a window beyond him and all his readers. And to read him is to be carried beyond.
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U.K. Orders: Trilogy £22 (including postage)