The Fifth World
About the Book
Nearly all of the poems in this collection were written within a period of three months, consecutively, one a day. I deliberately set myself the task of writing a poem a day for as long as I could sustain the effort and keep my creative energy flowing. I had before in my writing career brief periods of intense creativity where I wrote poems every day; for example, when I was finishing my sonnet sequence, Mediterranean Sonnets, I wrote fourteen sonnets in as many days. These are memorable creative episodes because they don’t come often and the poems deriving from such an intense focused activity are always unified and consistent in a qualitative manner, by form and technique, metrics, and poetic pulsion. The imagination grasps things with unusual claritas. These sessions are always pleasurable because—as Seamus Heaney once said to me after he himself had experienced such a period of creativity and productivity—they bolster a bit the poet’s belief in his own genius. Not that genius should be measured by the bucketful, but there is a certain confirmed value in sustained performance.
Many poets, of course, have achieved similar and greater feats of poetic muscularity, in the modern era Rilke for one, in writing Sonnets to Orpheus (February 2 – 5, 1922, at Chateau de Muzot in Switzerland), and William Carlos Williams, who wrote something every day for a year for Kora in Hell: Improvisations (1917- September 1918; published in 1920), and this while he was working every day as a pediatrician and general physician in his “other” profession. Williams vowed not to change a word as written; of course this did not happen, as his critical faculties prevailed, as have mine in this collection. I am myself pleased and surprised by how many of these poems stand as first written.
About the Author
The Fifth World is Frank Cebulski’s fifth book of poems. His previous books are Corm (Oyez: Berkeley, 1974), Mediterranean Sonnets (North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, 1988), Concrete Visual Shaped (Light • Gravity Press: Berkeley, 2006), and Only Emotion Endures (AuthorHouse: Bloomington, Indiana, 2009). He is founder and owner of Light • Gravity Press, where he published various broadsides of his concrete, visual and shaped poems, and also a selection privately printed for friends of the poet. He has translated poems from French and Latin, including an important book of poems by the well-known French poet and photographer, Denis Roche, Éros énergumène (Eros Raving), Editions du Seuil. He studied physics and English at the University of Colorado, and British and American literature at the universities of Cincinnati, California at Berkeley, and Kings College, London. He was Bancroft Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and Fulbright Lecturer to France at the University of Metz. He was Contributing Editor to Artweek for thirty years and has written art criticism for Art in America and Sculpture. He is currently an arts and entertainment writer for examiner.com. He was the first Director of Technical and Professional Writing at San Francisco State University. He lives in Albany, California. To learn more about him and his poetry, visit his website at www.cebulski.net.