Overview

When Amy Clampitt’s first collection, The Kingfisher, was published, it was hailed as that rare first book that “signals a major poet in full bloom” (Los Angeles Times). Its author was sixty-three years old. Over the next eleven years, Clampitt produced four additional, major collections. Now, the most essential poems from these five volumes are gathered together.

Clampitt was an impassioned observer of the natural world, the delights of which...
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Selected Poems

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Overview

When Amy Clampitt’s first collection, The Kingfisher, was published, it was hailed as that rare first book that “signals a major poet in full bloom” (Los Angeles Times). Its author was sixty-three years old. Over the next eleven years, Clampitt produced four additional, major collections. Now, the most essential poems from these five volumes are gathered together.

Clampitt was an impassioned observer of the natural world, the delights of which color many of these poems: writing of the fog, she described “a stuff so single / it might almost be lifted, / folded over, crawled underneath / or slid between, as nakedness- / caressingsheets.” Such was the texture of her language, too. She was a traveler, reporting back from England and Greece, from California and Maine, and from her native Midwest. An Iowa transplant to New York, the descendant of pioneers, she wrote of prairies and subways; of the movements of wildflowers, people, and ideas; and of the widespread modern experience of uprootedness.

Here is a treasure of Amy Clampitt’s verse, for those who are reading her for the first time, as well as for those who have long admired her.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307789242
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,104,675
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Amy Clampitt was the author of five collections of poems: The Kingfisher, What the Light Was Like, Archaic Figure, Westward, and A Silence Opens. She lived in New York City until her death in 1994.

Mary Jo Salter is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Phone Call to the Future: New and Selected Poems. She is a professor in the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and divides her time between Baltimore, Maryland, and Amherst, Massachusetts.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

From The Kingfisher (1983)

The Cove 3

Fog 5

Gradual Clearing 6

The Outer Bar 7

Sea Mouse 8

Beach Glass 9

Marine Surface, Low Overcast 11

The Sun Underfoot Among the Sundews 13

On the Disadvantages of Central Heating 14

A Procession at Candlemas 15

Times Square Water Music 21

Salvage 24

The Cormorant in Its Element 26

Camouflage 27

The Kingfisher 29

Exmoor 31

Sunday Music 33

Beethoven, Opus III 35

The woodlot 39

Imago 41

Stacking the Straw 44

Palm Sunday 45

Remembering Greece 46

Rain at Bellagio 47

Or Consider Prometheus 56

Letters From Jerusalem 58

Berceuse 60

The Dahlia Gardens 61

The Burning Child 67

From What the Light Was Like (1985)

The August Darks 71

Low Tide at Schoodic 73

Bertie Goes Hunting 74

Gooseberry Fool 76

The Spruce has No Taproot 78

What the Light Was Like 80

Black Buttercups 85

Witness 89

URN-Burial and the Butterfly Migration 90

High Culture 93

Voyages: A Homage to John Keats 94

Margate 95

Teignmouth 96

The Elgin Marbles 98

Chichester 103

He Dreams of Being Warm 106

The Isle of Wight 109

Winchester: The Autumn Equinox 111

Voyages 113

The Reedbeds of the Hackensack 115

Real Estate 117

Vacant Lot with Tumbleweed and Pigeons 118

Homer, A. D. 1982 119

The Hickory Grove 120

Losing Track of Language 122

Let the Air Circulate 124

From Archaic Figure (1987)

Archaic Figure 127

The Olive Groves of Thasos 128

Tempe in the Rain 130

Thermopylae 132

Leaving Yannina 133

Medusa 134

Perseus 136

Hippocrene 138

Athena 139

Perseus Airborne 140

Atlas Immobilized 141

George Eliot Country 143

Highgate Cemetery 145

Grasmere 147

Coleorton 151

Rydal Mount 154

An Anatomy of Migraine 157

Alice 164

London Inside and Outside 165

Babel Aboard the Hellas International Express 167

Venice Revisited 171

Man Feeding Pigeons 174

Tidewater Winter 175

The Waterfall 177

A Hermit Thrush 178

From Westward (1990)

Meadowlark Country 183

Notes on the State of Virginia 184

Kudzu Dormant 187

Dallas---Fort Worth: Redbud and Mistletoe 188

Deleted Passage 189

Seder Night 190

Iola, Kansas 191

Having Lunch at Brasenose 192

Westward 194

Alders 200

Blueberrying in August 202

A Whippoorwill in the Woods 203

A Winter Burial 205

Savannah 206

Amherst 208

Easedale Tarn 210

Vacant Lot With Pokeweed 212

A Hedge of Rubber Trees 213

My Cousin Muriel 215

Nothing Stays Put 219

The Prairie 221

From A Silence Opens (1994)

Syrinx 241

Hispaniola 243

Paumanok 245

Matoaka 247

Shorebird-Watching 256

Green 258

The Horned Rampion 259

In Umbria: A Snapshot 261

Birdham 262

Manhattan 263

áEighty-Nine 269

At Muker, Upper Swaledale 273

Sed De Correr 276

Matrix 281

A Silence 285

Uncollected Poems

Excerpts from The Sun on the Stone 289

The Equinoctial Disturbances 293

Pot Nomads 295

The Winter Bird 297

Notes Amy Clampitt Clampitt, Amy 299

Short Chronology 317

Suggestions for Further Reading 325

Index of Titles 327

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