Poetry. A remarkably pure lyricism of word and silence and of skepticism. I think there should be recognized in these poems the presence of a lyric poet of depth and delicacy and power. I think, moreover, that these qualities and song itself are very rare indeed-- George Oppen. Poet, translator from many languages, musician, performance artist and essayist, Armand Schwerner published sixteen volumes of poetry and translation. He died on February 4, 1999, at his home on Staten Island. His last completed project was the editing and revising of this collection. What he leaves us is a lifetime's work -- a gift -- original and pointing back to origins -- of thoughts fused into structures, compactions, that stun the imaginations of those who hear him. The ancients call it wisdom poetry, and I know of no contemporary who has been more into its practice. Schwerner writes here from his own body -- and by doing so he takes us into new and distant worlds-- Jerome Rothenberg.