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cover Invented by the Night

Poems by Len Anderson


Praise for Invented by the Night:

Invented by the Night gathers for us the poems of a physicist brooding over the nature and origin of everything.  We have poems that think about God or the gods and poems that peer at the vast nothings between bits of something.  We learn that the Schrödinger equation looks like a collocation of ‘small migratory birds blown in on stiff winds.’  ‘Where did I lay my wings when I came in the door?’ the poet asks, ‘I may want them on the way out.’  Len Anderson is a rare poet, equally at home with iamb and atom.”
        —Nils Peterson, author of A Walk to the Center of Things

“Invented by the Night is a book of marvels.  Len Anderson writes a seamless poetry that entices the mind and the spirit and is infused with a deep sense of wonder and thankfulness. He is a poet who can see the miraculous in our immediate world:

The Equation for the End of the World

has not been written
nor the one for the beginning.
Each day we are blessed
with more things
we don’t understand.
We are such children
that moments keep dropping
into our hands and we wonder
what to do with them all.
This may be why
I keep growing younger.
Even the gods
who made this world
are still being born.

Anderson is a rare combination: a physicist and a poet, and his poems inform us that the physical world is bound against chaos by the four elemental forces of nature (Electromagnetism, Gravity, the Weak and Strong Nuclear) and that our human world is held together by the sacramental force of love.  The interplay between the physical and the human is where he crafts his unique and startling poetry.  His vision is at once focused on the immediate here and now, looking at a blue ceramic cup and finding an ‘unseen presence’ as an agent of renewal, or biting into a fig which is ‘born of a sacred act,’ and a vision that is also expansive, taking in a world that includes Socrates, Giordano Bruno, Newton, Schrödinger, Saraswati, Descartes, Mevlevi dervishes, quantum physics, Flamenco, and the Delta blues singer Robert Johnson, among a host of others. Like Heidegger he is concerned with the nature of Being and how one might live authentically and with commitment.  And like Kenneth Rexroth, he knows that a poet is one who creates sacramental relationships that last.  As a physicist and poet he understands the magical dance of atoms that make up the world and the magical dance of words that make up the poem, and through these he sees that ‘all matter is blessed / with awareness.’  It is his unique awareness of this that enlarges and deepens our own.”
        —Joseph Stroud, author of Of This World

Poet and retired physicist Len Anderson is the author of one previous collection of poems: Affection for the Unknowable (Hummingbird Press, 2003), and a chapbook, BEEP: A Version of the History of the Personal Computer Rendered in Free Verse in the Manner of Howl by Allen Ginsberg.  He is a co-founder of Poetry Santa Cruz and serves as Secretary-Treasurer.  He and his wife live in the Live Oak area in Santa Cruz County.

Invented by the Night by Len Anderson.  Release: November, 2011.
84 pages, paperback, $15, ISBN 978-0-9792567-7-6
Cover art by T. Mike Walker and Len Anderson.  Author photo by Don Monkerud.

Poems by Len Anderson

Len Anderson’s first collection, Affection for the Unknowable.

Len Anderson’s Chapbook, Beep.


Copyright 2011