- Title: Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander
- Author: Adam Kirsch
- ISBN: 9781590517345
- Page: 220
- Format: Hardcover
August Sander s photographic portraits of ordinary people in Weimar Germany inspire this uncanny new collection of poems by one of America s most celebrated writers and criticsThrough his portraits of ordinary people soldiers, housewives, children, peasants, and city dwellers August Sander, the German photographer whose work chronicled the extreme tensions and transitionsAugust Sander s photographic portraits of ordinary people in Weimar Germany inspire this uncanny new collection of poems by one of America s most celebrated writers and criticsThrough his portraits of ordinary people soldiers, housewives, children, peasants, and city dwellers August Sander, the German photographer whose work chronicled the extreme tensions and transitions of the twentieth century, captured a moment in history whose consequences he himself couldn t have predicted Using these photographs as a lens, Adam Kirsch s poems connect the legacy of the First World War with the turmoil of the Weimar Republic with moving immediacy and meditative insight, and foreshadow the Nazi era Kirsch writes both urgently and poignantly about these photographs, creating a unique dialogue of word and image that will speak to all readers interested in history, past and present.
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Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander by Adam Kirsch is a collection of photographs by August Sanders accompanied by descriptive poetry written by Kirsch. Sanders is described as the most important portrait photographer in Germany during the pre and interwar years. Kirsch is the author of two collections of poems and several books of poetry criticism. A senior editor at the New Republic and a columnist for Tablet, he also writes for The New Yorker and the New Yor [...]
Thanks to and Other Press for the review copy. I haven’t written a review in probably a year, so I’m sure to be a little rusty. What’s worse is this might be one of the hardest to review. A book of poems inspired by the stark portraits of August Sander. This is one of those books you simply need to read for yourself. How else to depict a series of poems written after portraits of early 20th Century Germans (mostly pre-WWII)? It’s exactly what you might expect – haunting, prophetic, st [...]
A charming mix of historical photographs (1910s–1950s Germany) and poems. Kirsch uses his poetry to bring these one-dimensional figures to life, imagining the stories behind their generic titles (“Office Worker” or “Farming Family”) and sometimes slyly questioning the political and status connotations of such designations. Most of the verses rhyme in an ABAB pattern or rhyming couplets; usually I don’t like such persistent rhyme schemes, but here the word choice is subtle enough that [...]
nearly four dozen poems inspired by early 20th century portraits taken by german photographer august sander, poet/critic adam kirsch's emblems of the passing world is not only a snapshot of a bygone era, but also a rendering of a nation and its inhabitants just prior to a political upheaval that would change the course of history forever. each poem shares its name with the titled photograph on the opposing page, with sander's subjects' lives imagined and deconstructed by kirsch. capturing the br [...]
This is one of the most engrossing poetry collections I have read in some time. Engaged in a poetics of identity, Kirsch takes images that are purposefully ambiguous and grounds them into a time, place and character. The premise in and of itself is a fascinating ekphrastic experiment. As Kirsch explains, "Sander’s portraits counter time defying it. The subjects of his photographs are not given their real names; we are told nothing about where they were taken or under what circumstances; as for [...]
This collection opens with "Man of the Soil"After so many decades in the sun,The man of the soil begins to look like soil — His wrinkles furrows and his hands the brownOf the resisting earth it was his toilAnd craft to trick into fertility,And into which he is prepared to mergeNow that encroachments of senilityKeep him from drawing forth the surplusageUpon which the philosophers and priests,The men of business and their houseproud wives,And all the rest we are about to meetMust batten for thei [...]
2.5 STARS(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)In the Emblems of the Passing World we see photographs of August Sander of Germans from before World War I to World War II. The photographs are beautiful and capture so much emotion and make you wonder the story behind them. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of Adam Kirsch's poetry. I am not sure the poetry really conveys anything about the photo and often are just jumbled words. I have to admit I stopped reading the p [...]
I love this book and even read a few poems to my granddaughter, examining the photos both before and after each reading. The stories that come together between the two are quite interesting. If a picture can tell a thousand words, when combined with the short poems, those thousand words are more telling than you'd ever think they could be. The book is a study in sociology, imagination, language and photography, and makes a very heady blend. This one is a keeper!
This little book is a pairing of photographs by August Sander, and poems by Adam Kirsch which are based on the photographs. The photographs are brilliant and clear, and for the most part, the poems fit the photographs. The effect is engaging, haunting and, in most cases, sad. I received Emblems of the Passing World through a giveaway. Thank you.
I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review. The rating stars are not yet static. Review to come. I have much to say. (:
Adam Kirsch has written poems inspired by or interpreting a collection of photographs by the German photographer, August Sander of pre-world one and inter war Germany. Some of the early photographs take the reader to an era when men wore starched collars and women long sleeved dresses. I found the photographs riveting. Many the subjects gaze at me, almost knowingly, from over a century away, with a penetrating or, at times, or inquisitive stare. I found Mr. Kirsch's poems accompanying each photo [...]
A photo essay and a book of poems on World War I-era Germany. I wanted to read more about WWI due to my great-uncle's service in Europe. The photographs are by August Sander, a German documentary photographer who captured German people in their everyday lives. They are haunting and beautiful, both the people and the photographs. My favorites include "Farm Woman and Children", "Confirmation Candidate", and "Small Town Women." He has a marvelous eye for the ordinary. It is heart-wrenching to think [...]
The introduction would have benefited from greater depth. The accompanying poetry is okay: it runs the gamut, inconsistently, from inspired (with solid turns of phrase) to stilted MFA-esque assignment writing (especially in terms of poetic form and the heavy-handed references to Capitalism/Communism early on). The readings of the photographs are okay, if also inconsistent: they range from the literal to broad-sweeping and simplistic. I can't help but think that it's missing a certain je ne sais [...]
While the concept of decoding poems from old photographs is interesting, I found these poems dry and boring. There's no life in them. The fact that each one was an observation of the photo rather than from the subject's POV also added distance and an uncomfortable quality of voyeurism.I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The turmoil that gripped Europe and emerging industrial powerhouse Germany is captured with quiet dignity in August Sandler's camera lenses. Using this template as a jumping off point, poet Adam Kirsch attempts to spin a literary description to accompany images that already paint such vivid visuals.*Review to be updated upon receipt and completion of book.
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