The Fortunate Era

Overview

From the opening poem, we follow a narrator through the loss of an Edenic life and its manifestations, from personal loss to the extinction of species and—looming in the future—the threat of our own extinction. In the process we range from the microscopic to the cosmic, from the worlds of literature, science, culture, politics, and religion.

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Overview

From the opening poem, we follow a narrator through the loss of an Edenic life and its manifestations, from personal loss to the extinction of species and—looming in the future—the threat of our own extinction. In the process we range from the microscopic to the cosmic, from the worlds of literature, science, culture, politics, and religion.

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What People Are Saying

Carol Muske-Dukes
“In his profound new book, Arthur Smith lets us see “. . . the ruins // of our lives burning in the fires, in the rubble, / In the work of living, in my mind.” The source of the book’s title, The Fortunate Era, is the observation of a Nobel Laureate in physics, who said, “We live in the fortunate era . . . in which there is matter.” This peculiar revelatory vision of matter, of our material world, the world that burns in the paradise furnace of Smith’s imagination is as finite and startling as a spider in a blossom, stars, a tiger, a lover—or long-lasting grief. These poems are made of both familiar and elegantly spinning insight, real as rock. The flames bank and re-flare, but what Smith is shoring up for us in the ruins is the pure lyrical restraint of master: these poems re-make the way we see the world, right down to each fiery particle.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887485671
  • Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
  • Pages: 72
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

ARTHUR SMITH was born in central California. He has received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.). His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of American to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002, also by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and he was selected as the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Poetry for the 1987 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He served two terms as an advisory member of the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Panel, and he is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and North American Review.

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Table of Contents

GOLDEN GATE
Paradise
Church
Matinee
Lives of the Poet
Sans Soleil
Before the Absolute
War News
High Summer
What Song Hath the Creatures of the Field?
Tracking Down the Music of the Spheres
Rock Garden
The Truth
The Future is Already Among Us
The Cardinals of Zen
Zeno’s Sparrow
Of All Things
The Storied Hill You Walk Me Up
Walter’s Eternity
DELICACIES
Valentine
Main Street, Milky Way
What I Staked What Was Left of My Life On
Constant Sorrow
In Sickness and in Health
“San Fran,”
OF ALL THINGS
What Gods
Goodbye to the Isle of Palms
Breakfast for One
Of All People
Game Theory
Golden Gate
We Have Made These Things
The Usual Is What You Get
Ars Poetica
Schrodinger’s Dog
Reconsidering Joyce
Annuals
Who Lights Your Windows?
High Summer
In Memory of the Georgia Sun
Cuttings
Riverrun
Charm
Dedications

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