Spicer, Jack: Be Brave to Things: The Uncollected Poetry and Plays
Edited and with an introduction by Daniel Katz (Wesleyan University Press, hardcover)
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Publisher Marketing: Indispensable volume of previously unavailable poetry by an American master
Be Brave to Things shows legendary San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer at the top of his form, with his blistering intelligence, painful double-edged wit, and devastating will to truth everywhere on display. Much of the poetry here has never before been published, but the volume also includes much out-of-print or hard to find work, as well as Spicer's three major plays, which have never been collected. Here one finds major unfinished projects, early and alternate versions of well-known Spicer poems, shimmering stand-alone lyrics, and intricate extended "books" and serial poems. This new cache of Spicer material will be indispensable for any student of 20th century American poetry, proffering a trove of primary material for Spicer's growing readership to savor and enjoy.
"When your body brushed against me. . ."
When your body brushed against me I remembered
How we used to catch butterflies in our hands
Down in the garden.
We were such patient children
Following them from flower to flower
Waiting and hoping.
With our cupped hands we used to catch them
And they answered us with a soft tickle
For they never stopped flying.
In bed I remembered them and cried for
The touch of their fast wings, the impatience
Of their bright colors
I am too old for such games
But even tonight, now your body has reminded me of butterflies
I lie here awake, pretending.