The Complete Poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky
Volume Two, 1967–1976

edited by Sheri L. Vandermolen

Hardback and Paperback: 714 pp.
Published: 2002

Price: $42.50, $27.95



The second volume in Louis Daniel Brodsky's Complete Poems series, covering his early years as a professional poet, from 1967 to 1976, contains more than eight hundred chronologically arranged pieces. This body of work shows Brodsky developing a number of artistic strategies to record the life he chose outside the realm of academia, which he abandoned after completing his master's degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University in 1968.

In an extraordinary inward-looking search for that which would fulfill his need to be an artist and a working  man, to lead a life both creative and practical, Brodsky moved to a town of ten thousand in southeast Missouri, to work in a men's-clothing factory. In this milieu, so foreign to him, he composed verse only sporadically for two and a half years. But once at home in his new surroundings, he began producing poems at a prolific rate — about small-town life, marriage, factory work, days and nights on the road as an outlet-store manager, the birth of his first child, parenthood.

These experiences revitalized Brodsky's enthusiasm for his true calling — capturing in verse the things of this world. His sense of wonder in meeting townspeople and blue-collar laborers, engaging in café society, rural politics, and commerce, gave rise to works he never would have written as an English teacher. To his astonishment, Brodsky discovered that poetry could be wrought out of the most seemingly prosaic elements. And this revelation led him to yet another: that nothing, no matter how imagined or autobiographically revealing, disturbing, or mundane, can be left out if the poet's goal is to get it said honestly, contain his entire life in the lines of one ongoing poem.

Read the Introduction.




Louis Daniel Brodsky's verse captures the unloosing of an American poet's voice. . . . These pieces serve not only as a measure of Brodsky's evolution as a poet but as a human being struggling for purpose and a place.

— Reviewer's Bookwatch






The keys look at me inquisitively,
As if waiting to see
Which typebars will strike my fancy
And which faces in combination
Will memorize their chance meeting with me,
On this white plain,
Unknown to antecedent and legacy alike.

I peer into the glass-capped circles,
Hoping to awaken reflections
Sleeping in the ooze
And have them surface inside bubbles
Exploding against the fingertips.
Only, each inert letter
Keeps its deep secrets from strangers,

And my eyes continue to stray
Among a forest of keys
Growing as impenetrable as cedar trees.
I find no signs of ideas,
Living or having passed this way,
To lead me to the place
Where light breaks into flame.



Site contents Copyright © 2017, Louis Daniel Brodsky
Visit Louis Daniel Brodsky on Facebook!