The Misunderstanding of Nature: Poems

Overview

Sophie Cabot Black is an unabashedly passionate poet. Her first collection encompasses two New Worlds: the contemporary one and the one of seventeenth-century New England. At its epiphany, this collection presents a long poem called 'The Arguments,' a monologue in the voice of Dorothy Bradford, one of the first Englishwomen to have set foot in America. Through her complicated search for transcendence, we overhear the movements of learning to belong, caught at the rim of the ...

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Overview

Sophie Cabot Black is an unabashedly passionate poet. Her first collection encompasses two New Worlds: the contemporary one and the one of seventeenth-century New England. At its epiphany, this collection presents a long poem called 'The Arguments,' a monologue in the voice of Dorothy Bradford, one of the first Englishwomen to have set foot in America. Through her complicated search for transcendence, we overhear the movements of learning to belong, caught at the rim of the wilderness.

"The measure of Sophie Cabot Black's The Misunderstanding of Nature is the ambition and distinction of its long final poem, 'The Arguments.' Altogether this is a beautiful book: in poem after poem, the topography of a late twentieth century landscape of impasse: 'There is only what you might do/And what you damage.' 'The Arguments' find all this present but suppressed within the very origins of America—and in the process a wild, leaping, beautiful music. Berryman's 'Homage to Mistress Bradstreet' has found an eloquent, authentic sister."—Frank Bidart

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The measure of Sophie Cabot Black's The Misunderstanding of Nature is the ambition and distinction of its long final poem, 'The Arguments.' Altogether this is a beautiful book: in poem after poem, the topography of a late twentieth century landscape of impasse: 'There is only what you might do/And what you damage.' 'The Arguments' find all this present but suppressed within the very origins of America—and in the process a wild, leaping, beautiful music. Berryman's 'Homage to Mistress Bradstreet' has found an eloquent, authentic sister."—Frank Bidart
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555972011
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Pages: 90
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Cabot Black was raised on a small farm in New England and was educated at Marlboro College and Columbia University. Magazines and periodicals in which her poems have appeared include the Atlantic, Antaeus, and Partisan Review. Among her awards and honors are the Grolier Poetry Prize, the John Masefield Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

The Converted 1
Next 5
Inheritance 7
What Remains 8
The Woman at the Other Grave 9
The Island 10
In the Garden 11
Against the Steep Side of Wind 13
Inheritance: Up Here, Nothing Is 14
Tonight 15
The Body Still Wanting 19
Your Mouth Near My House 20
If Only for a Little While 21
Weather 22
What I Want 23
How the Soul Moves 24
Beacon 25
Invisible Bride 26
She Drives 29
Good Friday 30
August 31
Into Dark 32
November 33
To Her Father 34
The Wait 36
Higher Ground 37
The Misunderstanding of Nature 38
Among the Divided Lilies 43
Express 46
Tearing It Up, Starting Over 48
Interrogation 49
Sometimes a Refusal to Heal 50
Overdose 51
Northwest Passage 52
Nature, Who Misunderstands 54
The Arguments 58
Notes 87
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