Snow's Music: Poems

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Overview

The Snow's Music continues award-winning poet Floyd Skloot's lyrical and narrative explorations of memory, love, loss, and artistic expression. At once musical and precise, formal and fluid, Skloot's poems balance inner and outer vision, past and present experience, meditation and observation, humor and sadness. Skloot explores human resilience in the face of sudden change and radical shifts of perception that define creative endeavor when the world refuses to cohere.

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Overview

The Snow's Music continues award-winning poet Floyd Skloot's lyrical and narrative explorations of memory, love, loss, and artistic expression. At once musical and precise, formal and fluid, Skloot's poems balance inner and outer vision, past and present experience, meditation and observation, humor and sadness. Skloot explores human resilience in the face of sudden change and radical shifts of perception that define creative endeavor when the world refuses to cohere.

Whether the author is recalling lessons learned as a young actor in the role of a Shakespearean clown, thinking about the painter Georges Braque reassembling himself after wartime head injuries, or imagining his volatile parents reunited in the afterlife following his mother's death at age ninety-six, Skloot's accessible poems move and delight, creating his most emotional and engaging work to date.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807133408
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Floyd Skloot

Floyd Skloot is the author of four novels, four memoirs, and seven books of poetry, including The End of Dreams, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, and Selected Poems, 1970—2005. His work has won three Pushcart Prizes, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award, and has been included in numerous anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Floyd Skloot has published five previous books of poetry, including The End of Dreams, which LSU Press published in 2006, and Approximately Paradise, winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award; four novels; and an essay collection. His trilogy of memoirs includes In the Shadow of Memory, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award; its sequel, A World of Light, named an Editor's Choice selection by the New York Times Book Review; and The Wink of the Zenith (fall 2008). He lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, visit www.floydskloot.com.

Good To Know

"I live in a small round house in the middle of 20 acres of forest on a hillside in remote western Oregon. My wife, Beverly, built the place before we were together. The silence, the isolation, the beauty all around me, the lack of edges to the space we live in, and the intimacy with which we live are all powerfully inspiring for my work."

"I'm a lifelong baseball fan, having grown up in Brooklyn when the Dodgers were still there, having played through my freshman year in college, having dreamed of covering center field for the Dodgers."

"I delight in reading baseball books and studying stats. I have a growing collection of old-time baseball caps and usually wear one when I write."

"My daughter, Rebecca Skloot, is also a writer. She's published her science writing widely, has been an editor and teacher, and is currently working on a nonfiction book under contract with Crown Books."

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    1. Hometown:
      Amity, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 6, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Franklin & Marshall College, 1969; M.A., Southern Illinois University, 1971
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Remember 3

Skylark, 1953 4

A Period of Mourning 5

Butcher's Apprentice 6

Playing the Bawd at Twenty 7

Haircut 8

July 6, 1947 9

Lessons 11

In the Night 12

Waiting in Darkness 13

Indigo Psalm 14

Georges Braque in Pieces, May 1915 17

Paul Signac at Castellane, 1902 18

Monet at Giverny, 1921 19

John Field in Russia, 1835 20

Debussy at Sunrise 21

The Young Composers at Play, Westhampton, 1929 22

William Butler Yeats among the Ghosts 24

Thomas Hardy at the Harvest Supper 25

The Ensemble 29

Scars 30

Plein Air 32

Finishing Kick 33

Morphine Haze 34

The Developers 35

Closer to Home 36

Island Night 37

A Unified Field 38

Balance 41

First Steps 42

First Light, Late Winter 44

Afterlife 45

Transformations 46

Silent Music 47

Late Autumn Air 48

Digging Zak's Grave 49

In the Hills above Amity 50

Recuperation 51

Ezra Pound in a Spring Storm 52

New Home at Sixty 54

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Carefully Crafted, Deeply Felt

    The best in different genres elicit common responses from readers. Good mysteries are described as "page turners", good fiction makes people stay up all hours and read or tell everyone about the great story they've come across. Good poetry, however makes one slow down, savor the moment, read the poem over, and think about how it was crafted and what it said.

    I took my time with Floyd Skloot's newest, "The Snow's Music". A master of cadence, inner/end rhyme, sentence breaks and also a person who has experienced deep pain and loss, Skloot writes to cherish the moment and honor the senses.

    Separated into four distinct sections, "The Snow's Music" uses details from Skloot's life, landscapes large and small and mini biographies of famous artists as backdrops. One of the many poems I read over and over is entitled "Paul Signac at Castellane, 1902":


    In late afternoon heat, Signac takes
    the curves slowly, coasting when he can,
    feet at rest on the pedals. Florid light
    turns the cliff rosy as he swerves to a stop
    where the Verdon at last comes into sight.

    It is pure emerald, just as he remembers.
    The ancient bridge shimmers in the river's
    reflection. But there is no time for memory.
    No time even to think. Purple shadows
    stain the cliff's throat, lap at the bank,
    and he needs to capture the broken light
    that brought him to a halt before it vanishes.

    Signac drops his pack, scrabbles inside
    for his pad and paint tray. He rushes past two
    washerwomen, bends to fill his tin cup
    at the riverbank, and touches by chance
    the very place where green becomes blue.

    No matter how quickly he moves, time
    moves faster. Suddenly he feels the river
    growing still, then turning back on itself.
    He has a vision of the cliff crumbling
    in ebony chunks. There are no people,
    no scents, no sounds. He falls to his knees,
    knowing the dark future when he sees it.
    It all happened so fast. Behind him,
    the wheels of his bicycle continue to spin.


    Turning 60 has given Skloot an even greater appreciation for the constant parts of his life - his marriage, the power of nature plentiful and nature remaining, the pockets of community still flourishing under the monotony of globalization, memory that sustains no matter how positive or painful.

    Skloot is serious yet incredibly humane, his writing vivid and detailed while leaving me pondering the possibilities of my own past and future.

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