In To See the Earth Before the End of the World Ed Roberson presents us
with 120 new poems, each speaking in his unique voice and seen through his
unique eye. Earth and sky, neighborhood life and ancient myths, the art of
seeing and the architecture of the imagination are all among the subjects
of these poems. Recurring images and ideas construct a complex picture of
our world, ourselves, and the manifold connections tying them together. The
poems raise large questions about the natural world and our place in it,
and they do not flinch from facing up to those questions. Roberson’s poems
range widely through different scales of time and space, invoking along the
way history and myth, galaxies and garbage trucks, teapots and the history
of photography, mating cranes and Chicago's political machine. This
collection is composed of five sequences, each developing a particular
constellation of images and ideas related to the vision of the whole.
Various journeys become one journey—an epic journey, invoking epic themes.
There are songs of creation, pictures of the sorrows of war, celebrations
of human labor and human society, a respect for tools and domestic utensils
that are well made, the deep background of the past tingeing the colors of
the present, and the tragic tones of endings and laments, a pervading
awareness of the tears in things. Most of all, there is the exhilaration of
a grand, sweeping vision that enlarges our world.

Ed Roberson—To See The Earth Before The End Of The World

  • 9780819569509