The Grace of Necessity

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For the past 25 years Samuel Green has lived on a tiny island only four square miles in size populated by fewer than a hundred people. The island has no regular phone service, no electricity, no stores. These poems are informed by the lessons Green has learned living in a small rural community where loss and grief have immediate effects, and where love, meaningful work, intimate daily engagement with the natural world, and fidelity to “the art of the marginal” offer a way forward.
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What People Are Saying

Hayden Carruth
"Samuel Green's poems, like his life, fall naturally, smoothly, and uniquely into his days. They are a calendar of events in nature. And it is worth remembering that events, whatever else they may be, are always thoughts, and nature is always the world. Green's language, as clear and direct as any scientific discourse, is charged nevertheless with the intricate force of meaning and personality. These poems cherish us even while we are cherishing them. Read them, and you will see."
Jane Hirshfield
"'The shudder of exact description'—throughout this book of days, Samuel Green both knows it, and tests it further, knowing that the earth's fierce actualities yield themselves only to a vision that has been pressed into feeling as an olive is pressed into oil. With the steady, alert application of awake attention, Green brings to these compressed accountings of labor, of love, of the wide community of shared existence, the full measure of both the world's exactitude and its splendor. I commend to you this warm-hearted and full-seeing volume."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887484797
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

SAMUEL GREEN has lived nearly all his life in the Pacific Northwest. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard at 17, and saw service first in Antarctica, and then in South Vietnam. Later he earned his M.A. in English from Western Washington University through the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program. He has been a visiting poet at colleges in Utah, Wyoming, and Washington, most recently at Seattle University, teaching winter quarters in Seattle, and summer quarters in Ireland. His poems have appeared in Poet & Critic, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, and many other journals. For the past two dozen years, Green has lived in a hand-built log house on a tiny, remote island, where he and his wife, Sally, are publishers of the award-winning Brooding Heron Press.
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Table of Contents

Miserere: That We Might Keep Her Present Among Us
Cemetery Work Bee
Grave Digging
Winter Solstice, 1997
White Fir in Snow
Laying Stone
The Work That Is Given
What the Fisherman Knows
Bearing the Word
Nearly Automatic Writing: Testimony of My Great Grandmother
On Board the Sea Lassie, Summer, 1944
Wood Splitting
Teaching My Son to Kill
At Least the Rabbits
Skates, West Beach Resort
Children, Waking
What's Brought Back
For Hayden, Ill

Aug. 26/Aug. 30
Sept. 8/Sept. 9
Sept. 11/Sept. 12
Sept. 14/Sept. 16
Sept. 18/Sept. 19
Sept. 23/Sept. 27
Sept. 28/Oct. 1
Oct. 2/Oct. 8
Oct. 9/Oct. 12
Oct. 13/Oct. 16
Oct. 17/Oct. 18
Oct. 26/Oct. 30
Nov. 2/Nov. 7
Nov. 17/Dec. 5
Dec. 6/Dec. 17
Dec. 19/Feb. 15
March 21/March 26
March 31/April 9 •April 10/April 11
April 12/April 13
April 14/April 19
April 20/April 21
April 24/April 27
May 5/May 7
May 8/May 13
June 3/June 5
June 6/June 9
June 12/June 17
June 19/June 29
July 11/July 22

At the Pond's Edge
Winter Bath
When the True Beloved Goes
Some Things You Missed While You Were Away
Barred Owl's Call
February Song
Some Reasons Why I Became a Poet
Ars Poetica I
Ars Poetica II: Blade on Bone
Ars Poetica III: A Neighbor Talks about Building Houses
If You Had to
Night Dive
Getting By: Winter, 1984-85
Bird in the Bush
Finding a Wren's Nest
Rhyme: Putting an Edge on Things
Picking Off the Egg Cases
Notes on "Mole Greeting the Sun"
Old Man Folding a Kerchief in the Supermarket

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