Circumference of the Sun by Eric Hoffman


Why I felt compelled to render these ancient texts, which wade between the shallows of hope and the endless depths of outright despair, into this present form is quite simple. We live in a world of Biblical proportions-one of swift social and environmental transformations-that seems under the nearly constant threat of impending doom. The world was always so and will always be. Perhaps that is why the ancient texts have long provided hope. God may abandon even his Angels, yet never us, and He will always trust us in all our animal simplicity to withstand the wonders and terrors of Heaven, if we are only willing to dream of it. —Eric Hoffman

A Dream of Amos is a vision of hell on earth. A trio of 8th-7th century minor prophets’ works are referenced (Amos, Nahum, and Habakkuk). Modern equivalents to those prophetic words are introduced and meditated upon.

A Quiet Persistence is inspired by the untimely death of poet Sean Bonney and deals primarily with the personal—it is the only section composed in first person—and presents the reader with a vision of life as a purgatorial balance between existence and non-existence/Heaven and Hell.

Circumference of the Sun borrows liberally from the 300-200 BCE Book of Watchers section of the apocryphal text The Book of Enoch. It is an account of the Fall of the Angels and the demoralization of man, yet most of it consists of a dream vision of Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah, and his exploration of the geography of Heaven.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 94
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: October, 2021
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-37-1


Eric Hoffman’s “sharp-eyed and agile” poems are “teeming with surprise”.  —Patrick Pritchett

Hoffman’s work “deserves to be better and more widely-known”. —Eileen Tabios

“The quality of the verse… is undeniable; there are great pleasures to be had in Hoffman’s lines”. —Jason Ranek

“The particularities of a deeply felt life are brought into focus in [his] lovingly and carefully worked language – its handsome and quiet music, set down as a tangible event within the flow of time”. —Burt Kimmelman



Scribes tend to mercantilism. The peasantry pursues starvation.
The unlettered aristocracy tends to militaristic fame

to defend, they say, the civilian population
from foreign aristocrats in search of venal glory.

Vaults are the graves of dead currencies.
All is beggarly outside the master’s kitchen.

The most insignificant arrear serves as the small mean
between the barest subsistence and personal luxury.

They devour themselves and succor on freedom,
the price of vigilance.

Plunder and murder, quietly legalized,
keeps the grease from cobwebbed guillotines.

The jackbooted patrolman roars
the absolute right of righteous annihilation.


Eric Hoffman is the author of several volumes of poetry and the editor of a number of books on subjects as various as comics, music, and television. Most recently, he edited Conversations with John Berryman (University Press of Mississippi, 2021) and a new critical volume of Philip Pain’s Daily Meditations (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021). His articles and essays have appeared in journals worldwide, including American Communist History, The Chicago Review, Fortean Times, Rain Taxi, and Smartish Pace. His translations of the haiku of Ozaki Hōsai were published in Chrysanthemum, Frogpond, and Otoliths. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

Additional information

Weight 6.4 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in