Presence of Life by Eric Hoffman


Presence of Life is Eric Hoffman’s poetic adaptation of scholar Brad Inwood’s original translation of the extant fragments of the Pythagorean Pre-Socratic Empedocles, one of antiquities’ most influential thinkers and the last ancient Greek philosopher to have recorded his ideas in verse. Hoffman renders Empedocles’ vision into a startlingly modern idiom that repositions the fragments as an ultimately poetic text.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 128
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: June, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-16-9


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



From water, fire, earth, and air,
all things form and fit together,
and from these things mortals obtain

pain and pleasure. For wisdom
is gained in proportion to
the intensity of experience,

which feeds their dreams
and colors every difference.
Thought is a product of chance.


Eric HoffmanEric Hoffman is the author of several collections of poetry, including Losses of Life (2018) and The Transparent Eye (2016) (both Spuyten Duyvil), and Forms of Life (2015), By the Hours (2013), and The American Eye (2011), published by Dos Madres Press. He is the author of Oppen: A Narrative, the biography of poet George Oppen (Shearsman, 2013, revised and expanded US edition Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), editor of Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah: Essays on the Epic Graphic Satire of Dave Sim and Gerhard (McFarland, 2012), co-editor (with Dominick Grace) of Approaching Twin Peaks: Essays on the Original Series (McFarland, 2017), The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels (2017), Seth: Conversations (2015), Chester Brown: Conversations (2013), and Dave Sim: Conversations (2013), with Grace and Jason Sacks of Jim Shooter: Conversations(2017), and with Nina Goss of Tearing the World Apart: Bob Dylan and the 21st Century (2017), all published by the University Press of Mississippi. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Robin and son Sailor.

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in