Describing this collection of his poems, John Allman writes, "It is a book about the inner and outer worlds, a collection of multiple voices and relationships. In one sense it is about suffering, family, and survival. However, it is also about a world beyond such things, where identity burns by itself, where the self-changes but never dies. The book says that only change happens, but that survival without will and compassion is meaningless. The title, taken from a line in one of the book's ritual lyrics, suggests the four dimensions of human consciousness and effort, and the book strives to name or embody as many landscapes as possible--though it is the 'vertical' one given to religion and death that remains an abiding puzzle."
Originally published in 1979.
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