Lord Brain

Poems by Bruce Beasley

Winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition


"If I were President I would legalize all sorts of exciting marriages. Today, chief among them would be the History of Neuroscience wedded to the Spirit of Cutting-Edge Poetry. The best man would be Deep Intellect, the maid of honor would be High Feelings, and the groomsmen and the bridesmaids behind them would jump back and forth, exchanging places like a wild dance of negative and positive particles; like the hemispheres of the brain playing dress-up in one another's clothes; like fact in ecstasy drag, and ecstasy in the guise of medical journalism. The vows would be conducted, of course, by Bruce Beasley, who has also authored the text for the service. Take a hint from me: hurry up and RSVP."
—Albert Goldbarth

"Beasley’s remarkable new poems are their writer’s effort at healing the post-Enlightenment rifts between art and science, intellect and passion, faith and skepticism. They are brave and wonderfully extravagant poems, in equal measures sorcery, anatomy lesson, and prayer. He is one of the most searching and original voices at work today."
—David Wojahn, author of Spirit Cabinet

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Lord Brain is an extended meditation on the psyche (in its double sense of mind and soul) in its relationship to that three-pound bundle in our skull. Bruce Beasley’s collection of thirty-one poems is named for Sir Walter Russell Brain, or Lord Brain (1895-1966), the eminent British neuroscientist and author of Brain’s Diseases of the Nervous System. Bringing into conversation the disparate fields of neuroscience, theology, linguistics, particle physics, and theology, these poems investigate in both lyrical and scientific terms the relationship of brain to mind and soul, and of brain to the cosmos and God.

Whether discussing cosmology or astrophysics, neurobiology or insect physiology, Lord Brain connects the inner cosmos of our human anatomy with the external forces (material and divine) that brought the cosmos into being.

Page count: 112 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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Bruce Beasley, professor of English at Western Washington University, has won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. Among his four previous poetry collections are Summer Mystagogia (selected by Charles Wright for the 1996 Colorado Prize in Poetry) and Signs and Abominations.