“I love the stark contrasts that run throughout Down and Up and the piercing images that so often cinch the poems’ endings. They remind me that Major is also a painter, someone with such a vivid sense of how narrative and impulse inhabit the visual realm and who is quite readily capable of carrying them into impeccable language.”
—Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars
In Down and Up, Clarence Major makes use of American and European public places, their character and voice, to construct poems that explore the physical world juxtaposed sharply with the inner world. Sometimes realistic, sometimes dreamlike, these poems are dynamic, universal in theme, and acknowledge a debt to the great tradition of modern American poetry. Clear eyed and painterly, they explore wherever Major’s fancy takes him. His distinctive voice and compelling spatial and visual approach offer a connection between everyday human occurrences and the physical space they surround.
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