"Were he an animal, Zimmer would be an elephant: 'Once in a while I'd charge a power pole / Or smash a wall down just to keep / Everybody loose and at a distance.' Were he a machine, he'd be an old train stoked with moonlight and atomic trauma and ripe apples whose circles revolve 'all the way / Out to the round ends of the universe.' Here he is, our original and robust bluesy American jazz romantic at his chosen best. Welcome to Ground Zimmer."
—William Heyen, author of Shoah Train: Poems
Crossing to Sunlight Revisited offers both a retrospective and a current look at the work of Paul Zimmer. It contains twenty-three poems not included in Zimmer’s previous career-spanning work, Crossing to Sunlight, or, as Zimmer writes, “a total of seventy-three poems, one for each of the years I have lived.”
When Crossing to Sunlight appeared in 1997, the Gettysburg Review described Zimmer as a poet who “invests language with the vitality of desire” and who “unlike many poets in his generation, has forgone stylistic complacency and continued to explore the possibilities inherent in language.”
Being a poet, says Zimmer, is “perhaps the only courageous thing I have done in my life.” Here is a generous measure of that courage, of that body of work that once moved Robert Olen Butler to write, “I turn again and again to Zimmer’s poetry to remind myself what the essence of all literary art is: the moment.”
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