May/June 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 3 Nonfiction |

Reclamations of the Marvelous

 When my neighbors complained  the roots of our cypress were buckling their lot, the landlord cut the tree down.  I didn't know a living thing three stories high  could be so silent, until it was gone.     — Rick Barot, "On Gardens" (5-6,1. 26-30) In his first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, the poet André Breton trumpets his singular criterion of beauty as if it were a challenge. Thus he embodies something of the rebellious vitality implicit in the beautiful itself, something less indicative of formal harmony or bourgeois complacency than the revolutionary summons of the strange. "Let us not mince words," he states, "the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful" (14). Pitched to provoke, the statement relies upon a polemical sureness of phrase and purpose that would both liberate and dictate the terms of liberation—a paradox that has come to haunt our memory of the man himself. That said, the rh

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Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-one books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

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