Driven to Abstraction is Rosmarie Waldrop's sixth collection of poetry with New Directions. The first of its two sections, ""Sway-Backed Powerlines,"" consists of five sequences of lyrical prose poems whose subject matter ranges from voyages of discovery and the U.S. invasion of Iraq to geometry, memories of her father, and the music of John Cage. Part two, the title sequence, explores the ways abstraction has shaped the West, beginning with the Renaissance when zero was introduced in arithmetic, the vanishing point in perspective, and imagery money in economics. These poems are among Waldrop's most engaging and thrilling to date, the lines of a master poet shaping philosophy as poetry and poetry as philosophy. --Book Jacket.