A grappling with time, form and embodiment.
Recite your poem to your aunt.
I threw myself to the ground.
Where were you in the night?
In a school among the pines.
What was the meaning of the dream?
Organs, hormones, toxins, lesions: what is a body? In 3 Summers, Lisa Robertson takes up her earlier concerns with form and literary precedent, and turns toward the timeliness of embodiment. What is form's time? Here the form of life called a poem speaks with the body's mortality, its thickness, its play. The ten poem-sequences in 3 Summers inflect a history of textual voices – Lucretius, Marx, Aby Warburg, Deleuze, the Sogdian Sutras – in a lyricism that insists on analysis and revolt, as well as the pleasures of description. The poet explores the mysterious oddness of the body, its languor and persistence, to test how it shapes the materiality of thinking, which includes rivers and forests. But in these poems' landscapes, the time of nature is inherently political. Now only time is wild, and only time – embodied here in Lisa Robertson’s forceful cadences – can tell.
‘Robertson proves hard to explain but easy to enjoy ... Dauntlessly and resourcefully intellectual, Robertson can also be playful or blunt ... She wields language expertly, even beautifully.'
—The New York Times
‘Robertson makes intellect seductive; only her poetry could turn swooning into a critical gesture.'
—The Village Voice
About the author
Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist currently living in France. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. She has continued these activities for 30 years, publishing books, leaflets and posters, translating poetry and linguistics from French, lecturing and teaching internationally, and continuing her ongoing study into the political constitution of lyric voice. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe.
'Great poets create poems that teach you how to read them, and that is the case with Robertson.'
‘Readers seeking resolutely playful intellectual experiments will find in Robertson “the juiciness and joy of form.?*’
– Publishers Weekly
Other titles by Lisa Robertson
The Baudelaire Fractal
Orbiting Inner and Outer Experience