A Garden in Kentucky

Overview

In this collection Jane Gentry evokes, in images as haunting as the Kentucky landscape, a garden thriving with the flowers of memory, a physical world that reflects a realm of transcendence. Cosmic harmony reveals itself in the "ciphers" of roots and worms, in a piece of blue-willow china - "a blaze of balance, of wholeness" - that survives a fire in which a lonely, tormented cousin died. Like John Donne and Elizabeth Bishop, Gentry finds beauty, grandeur, and the suggestion of immortality in the smallest, most ...
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Overview

In this collection Jane Gentry evokes, in images as haunting as the Kentucky landscape, a garden thriving with the flowers of memory, a physical world that reflects a realm of transcendence. Cosmic harmony reveals itself in the "ciphers" of roots and worms, in a piece of blue-willow china - "a blaze of balance, of wholeness" - that survives a fire in which a lonely, tormented cousin died. Like John Donne and Elizabeth Bishop, Gentry finds beauty, grandeur, and the suggestion of immortality in the smallest, most evanescent of details. A mother's clothes. Scents. Textures. The play of moonlight on rock. The chirp of crickets. A faded tintype of a great-grandfather's dog. The wedding of a drum majorette. A glimpse caught through an open door of a naked woman ironing. A scarecrow. The smell of Bible leather. Laundry drying on a clothesline. Stark, lovely, elegiac, gently surreal, Gentry's poems resonate and echo in the vast spaces of the heart. A Garden in Kentucky is a place of mystery, terror, beauty, and wonder, a garden to which readers will find themselves returning again and again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807120026
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Gentry is associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. This is her first book.

LSU Press

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

A Garden in Kentucky 3
The Drum Majorette Marries at Calvary Baptist 4
Grandfather Lights the Gas Stove 5
Maugie's Heaven 6
Aunt Lucy 7
Great-Grandfather's Dog, High, on a Tintype 8
The Old Place, 1949 9
Washing Sheets in July 10
Teddy 11
For My Father 12
Thinking of Charlie B. on July 4 15
Snow in the Cemetery 16
My Mother's Clothes 17
Tasks 18
Presences 19
A Photograph of Hollins Abroaders Before the Caryatids 23
Life, June, 1944, Featuring the Bayeux Tapestry 24
The Cricket in the Elevator Shaft 25
A Moment in the Dark 26
For H., Resolved into a Moth While Watching Television in the Next Room 27
Hound 28
Liberty Above New Haven: The Statue on East Rock 29
Ten Years Ago You Left and Now We Take a Walk Together 30
Scarecrow 31
Blizzard 32
Moving 33
Your Vacation 34
Susannah 35
Susannah's Bones 38
St. Lucy the Housekeeper 39
Zero 40
Things That Fly Overhead at Lake Malone 41
Leaving Lucy, September, 1990 42
In a Chinese Landscape 44
Two Flowers for My Father 45
On a Day of Beautiful Clouds 46
Telemakhos at Festival Market Thinks of His Father 49
Eleuthera 50
Flood 51
Eros 52
In the Darkness 53
By the Sea: The Dream of the Body 54
Epiphany, 1992 56
Janus 57
The Whale 58
On a Perfect Day 59
A Glimpse 60
In the Kroger: For Jim, His Daughter Dead in a Wreck 61
The Sudden Appearance of Love 62
By Dark 63
Aubade 64
February 23, in the Cemetery 65
Exercise in the Cemetery 66
Heike's Window at Nightfall, from Versailles Cemetery 67
The Locust 68
In the Moment of My Death: For My Father 69
Hungry Fire 70
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