Tag Archives: The Chinese Quartet

Autumn, 2017: Exile In Paradise

10 Sep

Coming from
Nualláin House, Publishers

Exile In Paradise

by Pat Nolan
Autumn of 2017

 

The poems of Exile In Paradise are derived from a lifelong appreciation of Chinese poetry. Originally published as a selection in limited edition by Bamboo Leaf Studio in 2010, this further iteration of eighty poems by Pat Nolan marks an almost fifty year creative engagement in comparative literature with Chinese prosody.  Chinese poetry is image rich and largely dependent for its overall effect on the juxtaposition of these images in a discontinuous thread that is not unlike the successive frames of film.  Each of the poems in Exile In Paradise finds its origin in a line translated from an ancient Chinese poet.  The body of the poem consists of an improvisation from that line with the aim of using elements of Chinese prosody such as parataxis and parallelism while being cognizant that Chinese nouns have no number, verbs have no tense, few if any conjunctions or prepositional indicators, and that each line contains its own integrity, apart from any overarching discursive intent.  The poems of Exile In Paradise, while clearly original, endeavor to achieve a synthesis between a historically distant culture and the contemporaneous radically different literature of today.


from the introduction to Exile In Paradise by Pat Nolan:
Some fifty years ago a friend loaned or gifted me Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems from the Chinese, and as is commonly acknowledged a loaned book is often an unintended gift. The immediacy of these translations rests on their plain spoken imagism.  Undoubtedly much of that is due to Rexroth being of the Williams-Pound tell-it-as-you-see-it persuasion of American poetry.  The gift was my introduction to Chinese poetry.
            What at first was merely idle curiosity has become a lifelong passion leading me to read just about everything I can find relating to Chinese poetry, from Witter Bynner to Mike O’Connor.  Over the years I have assembled a library of anthologies and collections beginning with Arthur Waley’s Translations from the Chinese and Robert Payne’s The White Pony to more current editions complied by translators Burton Watson, Jonathan Chaves, David Hinton and Red Pine (Bill Porter).  With each collection or critical study I learn something new.   


Failed in Letters Happy in Life

“Cherishing my ineptness I’m carefree to the end”

enjoying a little peace cup of herb tea cold

attentive to the sound of the eaves overflowing

after a rush of late winter rain passes through

where I have gone wrong fills many notebooks

file cabinets bulging with personal hyperbole

here mistake after mistake accumulates like dust

documents of my timeless imperfection


Reserve a copy now!   

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Limited Edition: The Chinese Quartet

27 Feb

The Chinese Quartet
The Chinese Quartet

by Pat Nolan

 A small number of this very rare chapbook has recently been recovered from the storage locker of a prominent Bay Area bookseller.  Published in 1973 by Cranium Press,  handset in Goudy types and printed on an Albion hand press by master printer Clifford Burke in an edition of three hundred, they are an exquisite example of Burke’s conception of how a poem should appear on the page. The sixteen poems by Pat Nolan, printed on the rag paper ends from a larger Book Club of California job, represent Nolan’s early experimentation with ideas adapted from Chinese and Japanese prosody.  The austere brown paper wrapper is offset by the red centered label depicting a group of Renaissance musicians; that it represents a trio, not a quartet, is, in fact, an inside joke.  The book measurements are 7.5×6.75 inches (19×17.1 cm).  Signed copies of The Chinese Quartet are available for purchase at $50 each and include free shipping in North America (otherwise international rates apply).  Cash, checks, or money orders accepted.  See How to Order for more information.

chiquaropen

 

“The poems are wonderful as a grouping, and the printing is freaking beautiful. One of the best examples I’ve seen of the type and spacing and paper enhancing the sensibility in the writing.”  — Eric Johnson, Iota Press


 

Iota Brdside DT

Still available for FREE from Nualláin House, Publishers is a limited edition letterpress broadside of Pat Nolan’s poem Advice To A Young Poet and his original linoleum cut of Dylan Thomas from the Smoking Poets series, printed by Eric Johnson of Iota Press on a Vandercook proof press.  Send your request, along with $2 for shipping and handling, for this limited edition broadside printed on the occasion of Nolan’s reading at the Iota printery upon the publication of his latest collection of poems, Your Name Here. Broadside measures 10×8.5 inches (25.4×21.6 cm).


 

A reminder to take a look at Nualláin House, Publishers’ allied sites, Parole, the blog of The New Black Bart Poetry Society, and Ode To Sunset,  A Year In The Life of American Genius, an online serial fiction.

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