Paperback / softback
November 27, 2000
9780819564566
English
150
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.5 Pounds (US)
$16.95 USD, £12.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Signs and Abominations

Signs and Abominations is a radical tour de force that interrogates the relationship between religion and art at the end of the 20th century in penetrating and sensuous prosody. It can be read as a series of damaged likenesses: humans as the damaged image and likeness of God, poems and other works of art as necessarily incomplete attempts to approach and represent the numinous and the ineffable.

The reader is guided through its five interconnected sections by diverse voices: Michelangelo, Andres Serrano, Flannery O'Connor, Emily Dickinson, Soren Kierkegaard, Augustine, to name a few. All of the book's figures — the child-Crusaders stumbling toward Jerusalem, the man who wants to preserve for posterity his body entirely covered with tattoos, Andres Serrano submerging a crucifix in his own urine — set out on a deformed search for signs of the divine among the abominations of the profane. These poems are brilliance cast back at the hypocritical religiosity of those who refuse to admit that the spiritual and the profane inextricably encompass each other, and that art and religion have more in common than not.

About the Author

BRUCE BEASLEY is Professor of English at Western Washington University, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellow, and author of three books of poetry, including Spirituals (Wesleyan, 1988). His second book, The Creation, received the 1993 Ohio State University Press/Journal Award, and his Summer Mystagogia was selected by Charles Wright for the 1996 Colorado Prize.

Reviews

"The record of a confrontation with modernity in which modernity's victory over faith is not acknowledged . . . Beasley finds in ugliness and in the profane an affirmation rather than a repudiation of the idea of God . . . The best poems here . . . have a density of language and observed detail that capture, in their vertiginous forms, the qualities of modern life."—Publishers Weekly

"Bruce Beasley is writing as close to the bone of meaning as any poet I can think of today. Signs and Abominations is a passionate, difficult book about the capacity for language to signify anything beyond itself. He wonders how the profane can hold the sacred, how the monstrous can contain the holy, how a deformed language can embody not only the soul's deformity but its beauty. He comes down clearly on the side of essence, but the way there is a dark struggle."—Mark Jarman, Vanderbilt University

Endorsements

"Bruce Beasley is writing as close to the bone of meaning as any poet I can think of today. Signs and Abominations is a passionate, difficult book about the capacity for language to signify anything beyond itself. He wonders how the profane can hold the sacred, how the monstrous can contain the holy, how a deformed language can embody not only the soul's deformity but its beauty. He comes down clearly on the side of essence, but the way there is a dark struggle."—Mark Jarman, Vanderbilt University
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819564566 : signs-and-abominations-beasley
Paperback / softback
150 Pages
$16.95 USD

Other Titles by Bruce Beasley

The Corpse Flower

Bruce Beasley
Jan 2007 - University of Washington Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Wesleyan Poetry Series

Asked What Has Changed

Ed Roberson
Jan 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text

Be Brave to Things

Jack Spicer, edited by Daniel Katz
Oct 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback

The Past

Wendy Xu
Sep 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$25.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in POETRY / General

Elegguas

Kamau Brathwaite
Feb 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$14.99 USD - Electronic book text
$17.95 USD - Paperback / softback

BAX 2020

Seth Abramson, Jesse Damiani, edited by Carmen Maria Machado, Joyelle McSweeney
Dec 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$15.99 USD - Electronic book text

Bread Crumbs

Cynthia Tremblay
Jun 2020 - Lynx House Press
$12.95 USD - Paperback / softback