Spells: New and Selected Poems

Overview

Annie Finch’s Spells brings together her most memorable and striking poems written over forty years. Finch’s uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. A feminist and pagan, Finch writes poems as “spells” that bring readers to experience words not just in the mind, but in the body. Celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, over the course of her career Finch has shaped her own...

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Spells: New and Selected Poems

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Overview

Annie Finch’s Spells brings together her most memorable and striking poems written over forty years. Finch’s uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. A feminist and pagan, Finch writes poems as “spells” that bring readers to experience words not just in the mind, but in the body. Celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, over the course of her career Finch has shaped her own innovative and radically traditional aesthetic. Her strange but familiar metrical language decenters the Self, creating a new, more open emotional relationship between ourselves, other people, and the world. Spells displays Finch’s virtuosity in a broad range of genres and forms, from lyrics, chants, and narrative poems to performance pieces, poetic drama, and verse translation. The book also includes a number of new and previously unpublished poems, notably her 1980s-era “Lost Poems,” experimental work in meter that prefigures postmodern reclamations of poetic form. This wonderfully talented poet gives voice to the female and earth-centered spirituality of our era. Her emotionally eloquent and rhetorically powerful work will echo in the reader’s ear long after the book is closed. Check for the online reader’s companion at http://spells.site.wesleyan.edu.

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What People Are Saying

Marilyn Hacker
“An exuberant exposition of Annie Finch’s accomplishment as a poet of craft, humor, myth, intimacy and of the natural world.”
Charles Altieri
“Annie Finch understands better than any contemporary I know what poetry feels like and sounds like when it is completely at home in its traditions. . . . She is a major poet, one of very few who understand how lyric lives in part because it can speak for something larger than the ego.”
Ron Silliman
“Annie Finch is an American original, a master of control who shows no fear of excess, and none of quietness either. With a perfect-pitch ear for the American tongue, she is a formalist as much in the tradition of Robert Duncan and Bernadette Mayer as of Hart Crane and John Berryman. The directness and simplicity of her poems are deceptive –they have depths and delights that appear to go on forever. We haven't had a poet so capable of combining control and excess since the young Robert Duncan.”
Carolyn Kizer
“Whenever I get discouraged about some trends in contemporary poetry I think of Annie Finch, a shining light, and I feel better.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819572691
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 1,422,184
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

ANNIE FINCH is a professor of English and director of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of five books of poetry, including Calendars.

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Table of Contents

Preface
NEW POEMS
A Blessing on the Poets
Homebirth
Abortion Spell
Your Land
Stone and Cloth and Paper
The Naming
Frost’s Grave
Tarot: The Magician Card
Keys
Beach of Edges
Earth Day
Revelry
Architecture
POEMS, 2000–1990
Watching the Whale
Paravaledellentine: A Paradelle
Wild Yeasts
Earth Goddess and Sky God • Conversation
Calendars
Over Dark Arches
A Carol for Carolyn
Chain of Women
Ghazal for a Poetess
Meeting Mammoth Cave, Eight Months Pregnant
Butterfly Lullaby
Intimations of Pregnancy
Walk with Me
Two Bodies
Final Autumn
Elegy for My Father
Poems for the Wheel of the Year
Samhain
Winter Solstice Chant • Imbolc Dance
A Seed for Spring Equinox
A Wreath for Beltane
Summer Solstice Chant
Lammas
A Mabon Crown
Letter for Emily Dickinson
A Dance for the Inland Sea
Iowa Barn
Bluet
Landing Under Water, I See Roots
Changing Woman
Spider Woman
The Furious Sun in Her Mane • Aphrodite
Eve
Inanna • Coatlique
Nut
Brigid
Rhiannon
Running in Church
Blood Charm: From the Menstrual Hut
Encounter
Gulf War and Child: A Curse
Being a Constellation
My Raptor
The Wish for Eyes
The Last Mermother
Tribute
The Intellect of Woman
Moon
POEMS, 1989–1980
Courtship • Zaraf’s Star
Goddess
Pearl
Interpenetrate
Strangers
Insect
The Grim Garden
Inside the Violet
Blue Willow
Speak Softly
The Door
No Snake
A Small Sound in the Dark Woods • From the Lost Poems
Such Husks
Now in November
Song of the Sorry Side
Awful Friend
Nightmare
Resolution
Another Pregnant Woman Remembers Incest
Tongue of Language
Dusk
Lesson from a Rock
Reconciliation Bread • Night Rain
Fawns
An Imaginary Companion
The Ages’ Years: A Dialogue
Harvest Seam
Sundown
Shallow Sky
Childless
Wrist-Bracelet
Wine-Glass Woman
Lady Bug
A Wreath of Time
She That
From The Encyclopedia of Scotland
Invocation
One, from “Rockwood” • The Body of the Thing, from “Feeding the Admiral’s Pussycat”
POEMS, 1979–1970
The August Porch
Spells
A Dusk Song
In Cities, Be Alert
List • Still Life
Coy Mistress
When Daphne Ran
Lucid Waking
Sapphics for Patience
Another Reluctance • A Way to See
First Poem
Caribou Kitchen
PERFORMANCE WORKS, 1983–2010 • “Creation Story,” excerpted and adapted from Sheba in Eden
From The Mermaid Tragedy
From Marina Tsvetaeva: A Captive Spirit
From Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams
From Wolf Song • TRANSLATIONS, 1978–2010
The Seafarer
Louise Labé
Sonnet 2 [Handsome Brown Eyes]
Sonnet 5 [Bright Venus]
Sonnet 13 [The Ivy and the Tree]
Sonnet 4 [The Point of Death]
Sonnet 16 [Impotence]
Sonnet 18 [Kiss Me Again]
Sonnet 19 [A Meeting with Diana]
Sonnet 21 [Love Forces My Judgment] • Sonnet 23 [The Tangle]
Anna Akhmatova
The White Bird
Cleopatra
Lot’s Wife • Andrée Chedid
Thirst
In Praise of Emptiness
A Fragment of Sappho
Acknowledgments

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