Rooted in the Modernist tradition of writers like William Carlos Williams and indebted to Canadians like bpNichol, The Invisible World Is In Decline is a philosophical, erotic, and highly personal prose poem. At the same time, it takes on the Postmodern challenges of engaging concerns that extend beyond the autobiographical. Whiteman investigates spiritual crisis, love, and the struggle through language to make sense of what it is to be human in a world where the human seems to be all that is available.
The Invisible World Is In Decline pays homage to earlier writers of both the long poem and the impersonal love lyric: Coleridge, Lautréamont, Spicer, and Zukofsky. Responsive to the everyday, the particular, and to the body, Whiteman explores the grand ways in which poetry has come to shape language and experience in the last century. The prose poem form allows for images and music to sometimes predominate over shape and sense in what poet Robert Creeley once called a wild exultation.” In the end, it moves towards a human paradise where love, thought, and language are in perfect attunement, and where poetry can say so.close this panel
Bruce Whiteman is the author of many books of poetry, including Visible Stars: New and Selected Poems (1995), Tristia, and XXIV Love Poems (2002). He regularly writes reviews for Canadian and American journals, and his scholarly books include Lasting Impressions: A Short History of English Publishing in Quebec (1994) and J.E.H. Macdonald (1995). He currently resides in Los Angeles.close this panel