The origin of this book
For years, since 1980, I have written books of poems instead of separate poems. Before 1980, I wrote many separate poems that I had not put into a book. Many of them could be here, not lost. They might be inconsequential, but they are not lost.
David Bromige wrote in 1973 of few of these poems:
hardly anything to add, to what at various times, I’ve said to you about these. It’s a fine group. The 3 sonnets [Oh Well, All’s Well, That Ends Well] are a tour de force for sure. As is Just Stuff. As is Diatribe. They are, each, — start over. They have, each, that sense to them of being the fullest possible use of their own means. The pinball poem [Machine] makes something of itself too, tho it isnt somehow as full as these others. The poems not named, though all saying something, dont, to me, say it as fully.
About the title Spectacles
In 1979, I selected eight sets of poems for a book to be titled Spectacles. I included the first set in Balancing of Grinding Wheels, subtitled “Spectacles One, some early love poems.” I included many of the second set in Synopsis of the Signal Systems, subtitled “Part Two of Absences and Presences of Spectacles.” The remaining poems in parts two through eight have not been published until now. I reused the title in 1997 for Spectacles: A Sampler of Poems and Prose, published by Taurean Horn Press, which reprised the best of the poems in Balancing and Synopsis, as well as the best of Ezra’s Book, Important Beater Instructions, Hans Hans, Personae, and One Hundred and One Famous Poems.
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