Issue 96 |

A Word Like Fire by Dick Barnes


Donald Hall recommends
A Word Like Fire, selected poems by Dick Barnes: "Barnes, who died five years ago, was little known in the East, but he was a man of vast energy. His knowledge was superb, and his talents went everywhere. He taught literature at Pomona College, performed with his own jazz band, wrote and staged enormous puppet plays with fireworks, and translated Borges with Robert Mezey, who edited these poems posthumously. Plain language about the Western scene makes the best lines of these poems. They are original not just because of what they look at. He details the natural world, and the world of animals. He is a poet of mysterious matters of the spirit. He is a poet of humor, and his ears are as open as his eyes." (Handsel)