Robert Rehder
I'm back and still returning
Ed. Wolfgang Görtschacher
October 2016. 144 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-54-1
£11.50 (+ 2.00 p&p), €13.50 (+ 2.50 p&p), US$ 15.00 (+ 3.00 p&p)
“Rehder is passionate about the mind as the supreme organ of feeling: his verse is almost a liturgy of insight. His diction is strikingly up-to-date in the serious sense. His wit has a forensic edge: he is always intelligent but shatters common expect-ation. […] There is no substitute for reading Rehder over and over again – the poems are too clear to be understood at once. And they shine too brightly.”
Peter Porter

“Rehder is fond of spinning out into a poem the details of some incident that must strike the reader as trivial […] tracing the ramifications meticulously, methodically, bearing down on each fact until the trivial resonates with the stellar – daily life telescoping into the big bang.”
Tom Artin

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Table of Contents

Excerpts from I'm back and still returning

Where and Now

Moments, days, that seem to belong
To another story,

The Salute, San Giorgio Maggiore,
Plates bound into the wrong book –

The experience is not quite memory
And seems like only yesterday.

The steps go down into the water.
A map folds out from the back of the book

Of a different country
From the one in the narrative

And the difficulty of making
Any clear statement.

Green water lapping at the quay.
Everything is between.

The present returns as the past.
Words have more than one meaning.

Still Life

Green and red apples

The awkward knife,
A black touch

At an angle
To its black handle

To denote shadow.
The mountainous white napkin

The empty wine glass in two.

The glass is blue.
The top half floats like a balloon

Against the napkin’s sumptuous white cloud.
Cezanne doesn’t care.

He has other purposes – as we all do.
The table is five different browns,

Gray and café au lait.
This is not exactly the light.

Cezanne is showing us
That he knows about light,

But wants to think about structure –
For us to understand

That he is a free man
And this is painting.

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