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The Marble Bed

The Marble Bed

by Grace Schulman


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A New York Times Book Review New & Noteworthy Selection

"The Marble Bed is a vision; it is an ode to life."—Rowan Ricardo Phillips

"Each poem in The Marble Bed journeys far, wandering the territory of love's psyche."
—Yusef Komunyakaa

"One of the permanent poets of her generation."—Harold Bloom

Grace Schulman rises to new heights in these poems of lament and praise. In The Marble Bed, a couple dances on a shore that is at once a shining turf and a graveyard of sea toss, of cracked shells, a skull-like carapace, and emerald weed. Here things sparkle with newness: an orchid come alive when rescued from a trash bin; the new year hidden in an egret's wing; Coltrane's ecstatic flight; a seductive, come-hither angel; a meteor's arc; a rainbow's painted ribbons; a glacial rock that glowers in moonlight. Even the tomb sculptures in an Italian cemetery sparkle with vitality. Schulman, grieving for her late husband, believes passionately in the power of art to redeem human transience. Her faith in art enables her to move from mourning to joyful wonder of existence as she meditates on an injured world and concludes: "Because I cannot lose the injured world / without losing the world, / I'll have to praise it."

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781885983831
Publisher: Turtle Point Press
Publication date: 10/27/2020
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 373,160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Grace Schulman, winner of the Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in American Poetry, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of eight collections of poems and of a memoir, Strange Paradise: Portrait of a Marriage. Formerly Poetry Editor of the Nation and Director of the Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y, she is Distinguished Professor of CUNY's Baruch College.

Table of Contents


Orchid 3

Happiness 5

The Sand Dancers 7

Fragments of a Marriage 8

The Rooted Bed 9

The Shirt 10

Words with the Sea 12

Meteor 14


Gone 17

Because 19

Image Worship 20

Exile 22

Fireplace Bay 23

Eve Speaks 24

Francesca Redux 25

After All 26


Light in Genoa 29

Moment in Rapallo 32

Alive and Well: Tomb Sculptures in the Staglieno Cemetery

1 Angel 35

2 Widow 37

3 Dreamer 39

4 Maria Francesca 41

5 Struggle 43

6 Woman in Sunlight 45

Italy 46


Ascension 49

Agony in the Garden 51

Geniza 53

Still Lifes 54

The Lost Explorers 55

Crime in the Conservatory Garden 56

Greenwich Village Street Talk 58

Erratic 59

The Wind Game 61


That Summer 65

The Vow 66

Cinderella 68

Moon Plant 69

A Love Supreme 70

Dr. John 71

El Greco's Vision of St. John 73


Blizzard 77

The Rainbow Sign 78

Bald Angel 80

Don't! 81

Fallen Poets 83

Ballade for the Duke of Orleans 84

Letter from Nicaragua 86


The Worst 91

The Jetty 92

Caregiver 93

Waiting Room 94

Survival in the Woods 95

Springs Song 97

Year's End 98


The Letting Go

1 Waiting Music 101

2 The Second Line 102

3 Benedictus 103

4 Regret 104

5 The Sound 105

6 Names 106

7 Time 107

8 Trompe l'oeil 108

9 The Visit 109

10 First Chill-Then Stupor-Then the Letting Go 110

Notes 113

Acknowledgments 115

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