Shadow of Heaven

Overview

Following her stringent and much-acclaimed Kyrie, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Ellen Bryant Voigt now examines more intimately the ordeals and exaltations of everyday life. Nature, both fierce and benign, infuses this collection, furthering "an art at once ravishing and stern and deeply human" (American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Author Biography: Ellen Bryant Voigt lives in Marshfield, Vermont, and is Vermont State ...

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Overview

Following her stringent and much-acclaimed Kyrie, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Ellen Bryant Voigt now examines more intimately the ordeals and exaltations of everyday life. Nature, both fierce and benign, infuses this collection, furthering "an art at once ravishing and stern and deeply human" (American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Author Biography: Ellen Bryant Voigt lives in Marshfield, Vermont, and is Vermont State Poet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dominated by mourning and memory, Voigt's grave, accessible sixth book of verse excels her previous work while building on its strengths. The stark poems that open the volume examine dreams, apple trees, winter fields and (perhaps most impressively) the Himalayas, in a ghazal which is also a tribute to the contemporary poet Agha Shahid Ali. All these glimpses and points-of-view bring into relief Voigt's concentration on illness, dying and grief. Voigt (a National Book Critics Circle finalist for Kyrie) grew up in the South, and her natural details have always linked her to an older tradition of Southern American verse "the deep South a clearer paradigm," as her new sonnet sequence explains. Her everyday details balance abstract, pared-down emotional insights, general truths that recall Louise Glick. "The dead shut just shut up," begins one memorable poem, "High Winds Flare Up and the Old House Shudders"; another considers "our lucky/ or unlucky lost, of whom/ we never speak." More casual work near the back of the book includes translations of Horace's Odes and long considerations of backyard animals, as well as a long, talky elegy for the poet Larry Levis. The well-made, soft-spoken free verse in these final poems will please aficionados of Voigt's early work. Readers will return more often, however, to the clear voice in the first sections: "Calm came into the dream, unburdened as snow./ It sugared the rocks, the rock-encircled trees." (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393041477
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 87
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Winter Field 17
Largesse 19
Apple Tree 21
Winter Field 22
The Others 23
Practice 24
Himalaya 25
Lesson 27
High Winds Flare Up and the Old House Shudders 28
The Garden, Spring, the Hawk 29
The Art of Distance 47
Dooryard Flower 65
Horace: Ode I.xxxiv 67
Plaza del Sol 68
Anthropology 70
A Brief Domestic History 72
Long Marriage 74
Autumn in the Yard We Planted 76
Last Letter 77
Horace: Ode I.xxxvii 79
What I Remember of Larry's Dream of Yeats 81
Dooryard Flower 86
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