Feeding the Fire: Poems

Overview

Feeding the Fire retains the virtue of Jeffrey Harrison's earlier work—accessibility and clarity, without sacrifice of complexity—while branching into new territory. There are love poems, lyrics entwined in metaphor, and a number of elegies for the "unfamous," those indelible characters met in any life who shape individual consciousness. Most significantly there are poems of recollection, in which the charged moments of youth, dimly understood at the time of occurrence, return to the poet in flashes of brilliant ...

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Overview

Feeding the Fire retains the virtue of Jeffrey Harrison's earlier work—accessibility and clarity, without sacrifice of complexity—while branching into new territory. There are love poems, lyrics entwined in metaphor, and a number of elegies for the "unfamous," those indelible characters met in any life who shape individual consciousness. Most significantly there are poems of recollection, in which the charged moments of youth, dimly understood at the time of occurrence, return to the poet in flashes of brilliant clarity and passages of intense reminiscence. These new poems affirm the restorative mystery of our own innocence and articulate our complex, stumbling passage toward experience.

"Harrison's language is exact, sinuous, and compelling, and leads to places we may not have seen before, but know when we arrive. This is a beautiful book."—Henry Taylor

"This is a book that can be read from start to finish with ever-heightened expectations that are never disappointed, and with sustained delight."—Anthony Hecht

"Here are hauntingly composed poems of remembrance, of happiness and eagerness and regret—of life lyrically embraced, all beautifully rendered by one of our finest poets."—Robert Coles

Jeffrey Harrison is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Singing Underneath, selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, and Signs of Arrival. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize, the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He currently lives in Andover, Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

Chelsea
Signs of Arrival is a work of genius.... [It] accomplishes nothing less than transformation. We ought to herald its arrival with all the celebration praise can offer.
Anthony Hecht
This is a book that can be read from start to finish with ever-heightened expectations that are never disappointed....
Robert Coles
Here are hauntingly composed poems of remembrance...—of life lyrically embraced, all beautifully rendered by one of our finest poets.
From The Critics
Signs of Arrival is a work of genius.... [It] accomplishes nothing less than transformation. We ought to herald its arrival with all the celebration praise can offer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889330648
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 75
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Poem by Jeffrey Harrison: "Green Canoe" I don't often get the chance any longer
to go out alone in the green canoe
and, lying in the bottom of the boat,
just drift where the breeze takes me,
down to the other end of the lake
or into some cove without my knowing
because I can't see anything over
the gunwales but sky as I lie there,
feeling the ribs of the boat as my own,
this floating pod with a body inside it...

also a mind, that drifts among clouds
and the sounds that carry over water—
a flutter of birdsong, a screen door
slamming shut—as well as the usual stuff
that clutters it, but slowed down, opened up,
like the fluff of milkweed tugged
from its husk and floating over the lake,
to be mistaken for mayflies at dusk
by feeding trout, or be carried away
to a place where the seeds might sprout.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Green Canoe 3
Lure 4
Our Other Sister 6
Family Dog 8
My Double Nonconversion 10
Time Smear 12
Wherever You Are 15
Remembered Departure 17
Salt 19
Rowing 24
The Burning Hat 27
Three Wishes 29
Vietnam Scrapbook 31
Golden Retriever 33
Another Story 34
Masturbation 36
Smoke Follows Beauty 37
The Diver 38
The Oval Pin 40
Figure 42
White Spaces 45
Medusa 51
Horseshoe Contest 53
Not Written on Birch Bark 56
Necessity 57
Rilke's Fear of Dogs 58
Sex and Poetry 59
A Garbage Can in Brooklyn Full of Books 60
The Pond of Desires 62
Interval 63
The Cardinal Flower 65
Arrangement 67
Car Radio 69
The Author 73
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