book cover of Mean Free Path

Mean Free Path

A collection of poems by

"Lerner [is] among the most promising young poets now writing." - Publishers Weekly

"Sharp, ambitious, and impressive." - Boston Review

National Book Award finalist Ben Lerner turns to science once again for his guiding metaphor. "Mean free path" is the average distance a particle travels before colliding with another particle. The poems in Lerner's third collection are full of layered collisions - repetitions, fragmentations, stutters, re-combinations - that track how language threatens to break up or change course under the emotional pressures of the utterance. And then there's the larger collision of love, and while Lerner questions whether love poems are even possible, he composes a gorgeous, symphonic, and complicated one.

You startled me. I thought you were sleeping
In the traditional sense. I like looking
At anything under glass, especially
You called me. Like overheard
Dreams. I'm writing this one as a woman
Comfortable with failure. I promise I will never
But the predicate withered. If you are
Uncomfortable seeing this as portraiture
Close your eyes. No,
you startled

Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry and was named a finalist for the National Book Award for his second book, Angle of Yaw. He holds degrees from Brown University, co-founded No: a journal of the arts, and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

Used availability for Ben Lerner's Mean Free Path

Paperback Editions

January 2018 : Paperback

Title: Mean Free Path: Gedichte. Zweisprachig. Ubersetzt von Steffen Popp und Monika Rinck
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 3945550084 / 978-3945550083
Publisher: Luxbooks Gmbh
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   

March 2010 : USA Paperback

Title: Mean Free Path
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-55659-314-7 / 978-1-55659-314-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

December 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Mean Free Path
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA