The second book of an extravagant work-in-progress
Got to do but let the jewel
The light and hook
It to the flesh
It will outlast
And point the staring woman
At a mirror?
--from "The Master Jeweler Joel Rosenthal"
Dante's Divine Comedy begins with a journey through Hell and ends in Heaven. Frederick Seidel's trilogy The Cosmos Poems begins in the heavens and descends.
Life on Earth is the second book in this trilogy. It includes natural and human history, which are the history of the self, and biography, which is the history of everything else, told in vignettes of beauty, sublimity, horror, and regret.