Rogets Illusion

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Why is that? So Bierds writes about Roget writing about that, and about that phenomenon, too, but she is really more about the impulse to inquiry itself, which of course also happens in poetry. So Roget is a good guy for exploring the intersection of science and language. And Bierds loves science, and art, and poetry, as inquiry into the world.

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And at the heart of this enterprise is not the answers, but the striving for them, that impulse to know that like Icarus, always falls somewhat short of its divine goal but is admirable in its own right. Poems in this collection explore, in addition to Roget, the art of Durer, the Font-de-Gaume Cave Paintings, Nicolaas Tulp, Pietro Longhi, Walter Sickert, and the writing of Virginia Woolf, but also of scientists Michael Faraday who contributed to our understanding of electromagnetism and electrochemistry , George Steller a botanist , Pasteur, and Darwin.

It's dense, thoughtful work about the relationships between science, art, and language. And music! Her last poem is about, in part, Wagner's Tristan.

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But remember: this is finally about poetry, Bierd's careful way through language to try her own inquiry to understand and communicate with us her understandings of these other forms of inquiry, and their often intricate interrelationships. She quotes, for her last poem, Virginia Woolf: "I am imagining how it would be if we could infuse souls? Dense, "academic," sure, but it's finally about things beyond what we can truly say, all this inquiry, seems like. After all the erudite rendering, it seems like Roget's Illusion is about mystery. Feb 21, Chase rated it really liked it.

I'd selected this poetry collection on a whim, and found myself delighted with the line precision and Bierds' exquisite use of historical research. Part One and Part Two were, by far, most appealing. The third, while dense, approached too close the present and took away from the pure essence of Durer and his science. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable collection.


  1. Roget's Palisade.
  2. Roget's Illusion.
  3. JOURNEY INTO THE PAST?
  4. Smells Like Passion;
  5. 2. 'Roget’s Illusion,' by Linda Bierds.
  6. Commitment to Privacy?
  7. Complex Analysis.

Nov 17, Teresa rated it it was ok. These poems left me cold and disappointed. Linda Bierds' words are detailed and thoughtfully crafted, but also somehow self-conscious, clinical, and rigid. A few turns of phrase here and there pulled me in, but mostly I felt like a fidgety, bored child listening to a lecture.

Dec 30, Prayerpilgrim rated it it was ok. I confess I neither understood nor related to most of the poems in this book. Sep 25, Shannon rated it it was ok.

Linda Bierds

Didn't draw me in emotionally. Evan rated it it was amazing Feb 07, Matthew rated it it was ok Sep 22, P S rated it it was amazing Sep 30, Tanzen rated it it was amazing Apr 29, Laura Da' rated it really liked it May 20, Hannah Comerford rated it liked it Jun 15, Lesley Wheeler rated it really liked it Dec 30, Kirk rated it liked it Feb 05, Liz Kirchhoff rated it really liked it May 26, Kim Welliver rated it it was amazing Apr 24, Salma Shahin rated it liked it Aug 28, The Elegant Variation. Soil for the Pen 1 year ago.

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