Break On Through: New & Selected Poems, Volume One, Paul Nemser

Cover art: Lunar Landscape, ©Jesseca Ferguson, 2019, cyanotype


Break on Through

Beautiful poetry by Paul Nemser


Break on Through by the Author:


“You know the day destroys the night. Night divides the day. Tried to
run. Tried to hide. Break on through to the other side.”
The sense of conflict, terror, and liberation in The Doors’ song, “Break
On Through (To The Other Side),” blew me away when I first heard it
in 1967. If the Zeitgeist could speak, it would sound like that. I was
seventeen, and I wanted to break away from childhood, high school,
dependence, to break through the chains of repressive governments and
the lies that had led to the Vietnam War. I wanted to break through
the limits of ordinary language, which seemed wholly inadequate to
capture that revolutionary moment in which all deadly limits could be
overthrown, and we who had been in exile from the truth, the senses,
our best selves, might find happiness, freedom, ecstasy, enlightenment.
We might reclaim a bit of Eden. Poetry was the way.

That is why I chose “Break On Through” as the title of this first
volume of Lily’s two-volume New And Selected Poems. The selection
includes three poems previously uncollected in books and an excerpt from my first poetry book, Taurus. All of these three are about trans-
formation. Each poem describes an escape, a breakout, a breaking on through to the other side.– Paul Nemser (excerpted from the preface.)