Going Back to the River: Poems

Overview

Winner of the 1994 Devins Award for Poetry, George Bilgere masterfully uses his family history and his own experiences of growing up in the Midwest to confront the inevitability of loss and to find meaning in the face of unremitting change. Although Bilgere treats death or decay in much of the collection, he also presents a sense of hope. Captivating and powerful, The Going is a collection that will not soon be forgotten.
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Overview

Winner of the 1994 Devins Award for Poetry, George Bilgere masterfully uses his family history and his own experiences of growing up in the Midwest to confront the inevitability of loss and to find meaning in the face of unremitting change. Although Bilgere treats death or decay in much of the collection, he also presents a sense of hope. Captivating and powerful, The Going is a collection that will not soon be forgotten.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Vanished youth and awkward sexual awakenings are the burden of these evocative snapshots of life in the "dark extinguished villages" and wheat fields of Kansas and Missouri. Bilgere feels betrayed by the sacrifice of innocence "in the sad museums/of other lives, blind/to enormous histories" but is too scrupulous to acknowledge it. His "hard ironic eye" instead searches for atonement amid rituals of suburban families. Hunting, watching HBO, selling cars, playing Scrabble, and sex are viewed with the same "fixed,/uncanny intensity." This is a family album of doomed people in "places unpierced by starlight,/Halls of black marrow/where the stampede begins," and Bilgere's incisive poetic gift can find little to transmute. There is no "ceremony of harvest" for "rising young men/and New Deal farmers" stumbling about in a "sun-boiled" American heartland. For Bilgere and for the people of The Going, poetry "descends at odd moments capricious as a god." Winner of the 1994 Devins Award for Poetry; for comprehensive poetry collections.-Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute
Booknews
The 1994 winner of the Devins Award for Poetry. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826209665
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Table of Contents

Snapshot, 1934 1
After Dickinson's "The Lightning is a yellow Fork" 2
The Taxidermist's Wife 3
HBO 4
Sabbath 7
Stampede 8
Physical Education 9
Convalescence 10
Family Album 12
Intersection 13
My Mother's Feet 14
Windmill 15
Potato Digging 16
The Dealer 18
Healing 19
6 O'clock 22
A Postcard 23
Alert 24
Exiles 25
Childhood 26
Anointing 27
Another Anniversary 29
Belle Plaine 30
Bennett's Star 32
Breaststroke 33
See the Two-headed Cow 34
Nova 35
Wanton Boys 37
Sunday Night 38
Coming to Earth 39
Open House 40
Zones of Embarkation 41
Terrapin 42
Edison Films an Execution 44
A Visiting Professor 46
Nocturne 48
August 49
The Going 50
Major Bennett 52
The Last Snapshot 53
9 Months 55
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