Ricardo Quinones has followed his first volume of poems, Through the Years (2010), with a second, dedicated in large part to his wife, Roberta. Unlike other such volumes of personal interest, these poems begin with specific qualities that are then raised to the general. The poem 'Odalisque' transfigures women, even in their sexual composure, into the sources of culture and civilization. Several of the poems are humorous, such as the one describing the couple's futile attempts to set aside Tuesday as a day of abstinence. All of the poems in Roberta are rich in historical allusions.
The second part of the volume contains a philosophical poem, 'Rocks and Their Fellow Travelers,' which begins with the premise that nowhere in the Bible does it say that God created rocks and then proceeds to compare the nature of these anti-gods with Satan, Esau, Sisyphus, Iago, and Goneril (from King Lear). The volume adds to the very popular 'Wallet Poems' from Through the Years and then finishes with 'Profanities,' a poem that the late poet and critic Aino Passonen of Santa Monica declared made Quinones "a major American poet."
Publication Date: 21 March 2011
Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.1 inches
A poem is drawn to its own completion/Fulfilling a selected pattern of design/But it also has a latent assignment/Working its way through the tunnels of mind.
- Ricardo Quinones
Ricardo Quinones is a scholar-critic, professor emeritus of Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of such prize-winning volumes as The Changes of Cain: Violence and the Lost Brother in Cain-Abel Literature (1991), Dualisms: The Agons of the Modern World (2007), and Erasmus and Voltaire: Why They Still Matter (2010).
Mr. Quinones has held academic positions as professor or visiting professor at many colleges and universities, including Harvard University, the City University of New York, UC Irvine, and the University of Kansas and has served as president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, chair of the MLA's executive committee on comparative literature, member of the California Council for the Humanities, and member of the National Council on the Humanities. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
39 West Press is honored to feature the poetry of Mr. Quinones.