To the Bone; New and Selected Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The poetic achievement of Lea, former New England Review editor, is difficult to judge. Lea has explored several styles over the past 15 years, and the arrangement of this selection, which begins with the most recent poems, turns to the earliest poems and advances again to poems of the mid-1990s, confounds the search for poetic development. Hunter, woodsman, spokesman for the unlucky, violent, and vile, Lea favors the concrete images of hardscrabble country life, guns, gray snow, and weeds. His practice is wary of self-conscious beauty or lyricism, and his inclination to forgive and even celebrate difficult people or intolerable situations has gradually become a more explicit Christianity, as in "Peaceable Kingdom" or "Friendship." These very qualities, which tend to make his longer poems diffuse or tendentiously uplifting, give some of the shorter works a restrained elegance: "Now,/ despite the persistence of heat and quarrel...such shinings on water/ are fact. Or sublime." For larger poetry collections.Graham Christian, Andover-Harvard Theological Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252065194
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Illinois Poetry Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

To the Bone 3
Hunter's Sabbath: Hippocratic 15
The Right Words in April 16
Peaceable Kingdom 18
Mudtime in the County 20
Beautiful Miles 21
Fourth of July 24
Oosh 29
Aubade 31
Aubade 31
Valedictions 34
The Fish Pond 36
November 38
Paternity 40
Friendship 43
R. N., Women's Ward 45
Athlete's Scars 47
Searching the Drowned Man: The Third Day 51
Young Man Leaving Home 54
To the Summer Sweethearts 56
Night Message for Ted in the South 57
The President of Flowers 59
For My Father, Who Hunted 61
Night Patrol: The Ancestral House 63
The Train Out 65
Night Trip across the Chesapeake and After 66
For My Son Greston at the Solstice 68
Band Concert 70
Drooge's Barn 71
For Don C., against a Proverb 73
Elegy at Peter Dana Point 76
Dirge for My Brother: Dawn to Dawn 83
A Natural Shame 86
Chanty: Cleaning the River-Driver 88
There Should Have Been 90
To a Surgeon 92
Bernie's Quick-Shave (1968) 95
Accident 97
Battle 99
The Floating Candles 101
The Feud 104
Fall 119
After Labor Day 121
The Light Going Down 124
Making Sense 126
Tough End 129
Leonora's Kitchen 132
Horn 134
The Return: Intensive Care 138
Sereno 142
Dusk 144
Midway 146
No Sign 149
Telescope 152
From Another Shore 154
Annual Report 158
Prayer for the Little City 165
Two Chets 167
Questions of Empathy Way Upstate 170
Pieta 172
For the Solitary 174
Late Season 176
Manifest 178
Pianissimo 180
Museum 182
Another Autumn, And 185
For Faith 188
Proem: After George's Ax Was Stolen 193
The Blainville Testament 195
Upcountry Speedway 205
Spite: Her Tale 207
Road Agent 212
Private Boy's School, 3rd Grade 215
Black Bear Cuffing for Food 217
In the Blind 219
Wedding Anniversary 222
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