A Palace of Pearls

Jane Miller

In this book-length sequence, animated by a confrontation with her dead father, Jane Miller meditates on home, love, war and the responsibility of the poet. A Palace of Pearls is inspired by one of the most spectacular civilizations in history, the Arab kingdom of Al-Andalus—a Middle Age civilization where architecture, science, and art flourished and Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in relative harmony. The reader roams through “rooms,” encountering Greek, Judaic, and Roman mythology, and through the streets of fifteenth-century Spain and contemporary Rome, in Miller’s most personal and associative volume.

ISBN: 9781556592225

Format: Paperback


Do you know how long it has been since a moral choice presented itself

and the wrong choice was made

not two minutes

why is it not quiet between lightning and thunder as if someone were asking

do you have other articulable feelings     if so express them now

tragedy ensues

with a laser blast from the cockpit

the dangled finger of God makes contact


About the Author

Jane Miller has written twelve books, most recently Who Is Trixie the Trasher? and Other Questions, and including Working Time: Essays on Poetry, Culture, and Travel. She has performed her creative work and lectured on literature and the fine arts at universities, colleges, libraries, community centers, and public arts venues for over thirty years. She is the recipient of a Wallace Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Western States Book Award, and the Audre …

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“Book by book, Jane Miller has evolved a mode, a voice, a palette and landscape entirely her own. If she were a painter, one might describe it as a descendant of cubism, a composition of multiple planes and reflections that appears to emerge out of itself, true to laws of its own nature, and yet is disturbingly recognizable, continuously suggestive, intimate and beautiful. Her subject is love and illusion and their revelation about each other.” —W.S. Merwin

“It’s heartening to see a poet work from the pure energy of language, without apology, as Jane Miller does.” —Boston Book Review

“A marvelously penetrating, synoptic poet… her best moments sublimely diagnostic.” —Threepenny Review

“These poems frequently attain a heightened language rare in contemporary poetry. Miller is frankly romantic, visionary, and political.” —Harvard Review

“Jane Miller is by far one of our best poets writing today… Miller is like the NASA space station of poetry: out of this world, yet of it, and still looking down. From her peculiar and important vantage she blows us kisses in the form of images that hit their mark.” —Lambda Book Report

“Reading Jane Miller’s poetry is like channel-surfing on acid: her deliberately interrupted narrative warps and weaves and makes the familiar strange and the strange recognizable.” —LA Weekly