Leslie Ullman, author and writing consultant







Leslie Ullman Notes on Progress on the Subject of Immensity

Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (August 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0826353622
ISBN-13: 978-0826353627
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            Progress on the Subject of Immensity began as a handful of poems, written while I was on my first-ever paid leave of absence after over 25 years of teaching, in a casita lined with windows overlooking Taos’ high desert vistas. Amidst so much space and light, my mind felt cleared of clutter, and the new poems found themselves questioning, lightly at first, the efficacy of the human mind. I began to consider how in our youth we are naturally inclined to drive forward with all the powers of mind and body we can muster, something we continue to do as we build homes, families, and careers. But at some point, ambition—that willed effort—ceases to work for us, at least to some degree, and I understood that I was confronting that passage when I began this book. I found myself sketching out poems that questioned the sovereignty of the mind, sometimes making fun of it, sometimes sympathizing with its limitations and treadmill existence, and often turning it into a character.

            This spirit of inquiry nudged subsequent poems into larger questions—an exploration of spaces inside us as well as outside us: the rhythms of seasons, the earth suspended in its matrix of space, the life of the body, the limitations of conventional Western religion, the nature of desire, and the pleasures—often the sensuous pleasures—of inquiry itself. I never did come up with answers, but I found myself increasingly comfortable in the realm of speculation and in the movement of thought without agenda, sense-based and pleasantly engaged in a dance between large questions and small revelations.

Leslie Ullman Author, Artist and Writing Consultant  LeslieUllman.com

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