A Grammar to Waking

Overview

Time is the hour at which a pub closes, the moment we must put our pencils down, a way of paying later for something now. A Grammar to Waking explores moments we wake to the grammar of living time, what Virginia Woolf called "moments of being." In the drift of the present, of song in the throat of its bird and the verb in its sentence, the drift of loved one into memory, of talk from the talker to the listener, how and where does meaning live? "There are so many rules we don't even know," writes Nancy Eimers, ...

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Overview

Time is the hour at which a pub closes, the moment we must put our pencils down, a way of paying later for something now. A Grammar to Waking explores moments we wake to the grammar of living time, what Virginia Woolf called "moments of being." In the drift of the present, of song in the throat of its bird and the verb in its sentence, the drift of loved one into memory, of talk from the talker to the listener, how and where does meaning live? "There are so many rules we don't even know," writes Nancy Eimers, "but we wake to them anyway." This collection offers a reflective, loving look at the mystery of the time being.

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What People Are Saying

Beckian Fritz Goldberg
"These poems unfold with such compassionate intelligence and in language so supple and strong as silk that one follows them with complete trust. Eimers has a remarkable ability for giving even the slightest things of our experience the reverence of attention—from a flock of birds, 'little candles dipping down out of one tree / and dripping / up into another . . .' to the heat 'like the final exhalation of a Wal-Mart store.' She understands the 'towardness of the world' and the result is a new and rapturous intimacy with what we thought was merely familiar. This is what the best poetry does, awaken us, and, in Heidegger's words, brings us onto the earth. A Grammar to Waking is that rare and powerful a book."
David Wojahn
"Reading Nancy Eimers' searching and wise poems, I am reminded of Quevedo's famous lines, 'You look for Rome in Rome, O Pilgrim / but in Rome itself you do not find Rome.' The poems capture with an uncanny acuity the condition of displacement and homesickness-while-at-home which is now the American condition, and yet they never abandon their sense of wonder at the quotidian, their understanding of the strangeness which lies within the domestic. Eimers describes herself, in a poem entitled 'Mall at the Crossroads,' as a 'lost mariner'—yet she quickly adds that in this locale she is 'never lost.' Upon such paradoxes she has constructed a richly meditative and deeply resonant collection. Among the poets of her generation, she has very few peers."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887484476
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 3/3/2006
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

A Grammar to Waking is NANCY EIMERS' third book of poetry. She is also the author of Destroying Angel (Wesleyan/University Press of New England, 1991) and No Moon, winner of the 1997 Verna Emery Prize (Purdue University Press). She has been the recipient of a Nation "Discovery" Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships and a Whiting Writer's Award. She teaches creative writing at Western Michigan University and at Vermont College, and she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Table of Contents

A Grammar to Waking
The Study of Limits
Driving in Snow
Arlington Street
Passing Things
Photograph of a Young Girl, 1941
So We'll Go No More
Nouns
S-Curve, 131
Mall at the Crossroads

A Verb in This Mood
The Mercator Projection
At Two
Scriptura Vulgaris
To the Voices Over the Fence
Occasionals
Shower
Handwriting in America
If Fame Were Not an Accident, and History a Distillation of Rumour
The Motion Detector

Go Slow, There Are Children at Play
Earthquake Memories
On a Dog Dying in Separate Frames
Private
Thoughts of the Moon
Bygones
Vortex
They All Went
Train Whistle

The Ratio of the Said to the Unsaid
Remorse
I Finde in a Boke Compiled to This Matere an Olde Histoire
Psychic Photographer
Hearing Aid
Crepuscule
Detail: Stone Floor, Garden of the Master of Nets
Lunar Eclipse
Clothes on a Line

Notes

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