Frank Stewart's fourth book of poetry is a meditation on how we may be assimilated so completely by life, art, music, the world of animals, and ecstasy that the self vanishes and a person is transformed into a human being. In such a case, poetry is not a matter of self-expression but of association and correspondence with others, and art is understood as a form of empathy that overcomes history, time, nation, and language. The poems in By All Means return us to what is most universal and most human: transiency, mutability, hope and hopelessness.
Related Links: Frank Stewart is the Editor of Manoa, a Pacific Journal of International Writing.
...in this work you feel the hesitation which precedes each word, the deliberate motions of a sensibility seeking not to reveal itself but to rediscover and renew something precious on the very lip of loss. The poet's ego here has been completely subsumed by, and consumed by, the redemptive ardors of attention. Frank Stewart offers us neither imitation nor representation; rather, he writes as one who respecting— loving— this given world, works to mend its rent fabric, one word at a time. By All Means is an act of patient compassion.
—Nick Bozanic, Poet, This Once
At his best, Stewart is powerfully sensuous, an antenna for the beauty and sadness of life. The language catches and holds between rising and falling,
at the height of the point of the parabola.
There is a quiet and enduring strength in Stewart's voice, which is calm, luminous, and forceful. Pain, separation, loss, humiliation—all are accepted with equanimity until a strange peace emerges, and we feel a dark, beautiful clarity. Stewart is one of the best poets writing anywhere.
—New Letters Review of Books
Everywhere is the pervasive presence of the vast surrounding ocean, the assertive intrusion of a heroic and sublime landscape, of the human inhabitancy. But this is not the Hawai'i you will encounter if you stay too closely moored; it is rather the unexploited landscape described so memorably.
—Los Angeles Times
These lapidary lines move with the skill, finesse, and acuity of a master.
—Arthur Sze, The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese
FRANK STEWART is the author of three previous books of poetry and the editor
of over two dozen anthologies featuring contemporary translations of literature from throughout Asia and the Pacific. A recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award for his poetry, he has edited Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing since 1989. He lives in Hawai'i.
By All Means
By Frank Stewart
Paperback: 76 pages; 5.25 in x 7.5 in
Published:El León, 1st ed. (August 2003)