Quill, Solitary ApparitionQuill, Solitary Apparition

Barbara Guest

Poetry
ISBN: 978-0-942996-26-5 • $12.95 • 78 pp.
1996

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Of Quill, Solitary Apparition Barbara Guest writes: “even in a loose-limbed vertical structure risk is encountered; to concentrate on that risk where the image recedes, lugging its solitary and watered shadow…”

“Guest’s fastidious ‘withdrawal from the conceptual line’ move her verse away from gravity and density and fevers of the object toward rippling coolness, dissonance and absence, air and water, ‘the azure delicately blotted'; an ethereal ‘miscellany of clouds’ heralds elusive figurings of ‘the river’s synonymous curve’ as bewitching  post-romantic shadows close in, and ‘the night lamp is out on the versandah.”
—Tom Clark

“Barbara Guest’s poetry and her novel, Seeking Air, have been fundamental to my work and life for twenty years. Of late, her work increases in acceleration. Quill, Solitary Apparition is of perfect weight. The whole is on a blade. I feel the poetry moves beyond me and fills in where I will go.”
—Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

“Where is this world so similar to our own and yet parallel to it, detached, with passion, urgently contemplative? Perception is here purified by a flame which at last we dare call poetry. There’s high energy (in this parting from modernity and its medieval trappings) made of elements which become words transcending themselves into the solitude of pure light.”
—Etel Adnan


Barbara Guest (1920-2006), was born 1920 in North Carolina, and spent her childhood in Florida and California. She studied at The University of California at Berkeley, before settling in New York City. For several years, she wrote reviews for Art News, and Art and America. She published numerous collections of poetry, among them The Red Gaze (2005); Miniatures and Other Poems (2002), Symbiosis (1999), Defensive Rapture (1994), Fair Realism (1989), Musicality (1988), The Nude (1986), Quilts (1980), and Biography (1980). She is also the author of several plays and a novel, Seeking Air (1978). Her work has been recognized by major awards and honors including an America Award for literature from the Contemporary Arts Council for her Selected Poems and for Quill, Solitary Apparition.

Electronic Poetry Center

Poetry Foundation

Reading, August 14, 1999