Very Far North

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Go home, boy. Sink your toes in that rich soil and grow some roots. So America's first poet laureate urged his apprentice Timothy Murphy, back in 1972. 'Very Far North' is the third book depicting the consequences of that advice. After his undergraduate years at Yale, Timothy Murphy turned his back on cities and the academic world. Returning to the Red River of the North, he bought and sold, farmed and failed like his forebears. All the while he distilled what he saw, heard or felt into his tall tales and short ...
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Overview

Go home, boy. Sink your toes in that rich soil and grow some roots. So America's first poet laureate urged his apprentice Timothy Murphy, back in 1972. 'Very Far North' is the third book depicting the consequences of that advice. After his undergraduate years at Yale, Timothy Murphy turned his back on cities and the academic world. Returning to the Red River of the North, he bought and sold, farmed and failed like his forebears. All the while he distilled what he saw, heard or felt into his tall tales and short verses. His first collection compiled more than twenty years of work. Published in 1998, 'The Deed of Gift' promptly sold out its first printing, no small feat for the work of an unknown from North Dakota.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904130017
  • Publisher: Between the Lines
  • Publication date: 12/31/2002
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
No Place for Trees 19
Headwaters 20
The Last Sodbusters 21
Bin Buster 22
Unposted 23
My Banker 24
Vulture Acres 25
Country Voices 26
The Steward 28
Dakota Greeting 29
The Honey Wagon 29
"Blow Winds and Crack Your Cheeks" 30
"It Is Very Far North ..." 30
Next Year, Drought 31
Hunters and Prey 35
The Giving of Names 37
Pa Sapa 38
The Cook Fire 39
Color-blind 40
A Gun Dog Named Maud Gonne 41
Spring Cleaning 42
Hunting Time 43
The Recruit 44
Virtual Family 45
A Marriage 46
Freeze Up 46
Henry IV, Part III 47
To a Trout 48
Game Log 49
Eidyllion 50
Elsewhere 53
Homecoming 54
The Wanderer 55
The Talisman 56
The Aerie 58
Landfall 59
Helming All Night 60
The Watch 60
Doldrums 61
Mr. Christian's Diary 61
Lemuel's Travels 62
Note in a Bottle 62
Larghetto 63
Sea Grapes 64
Second-in-Command 64
Red like him 67
Mentor 67
Collateral 68
Boom and Bust 69
Horses for my Father 70
Tessie's Talk 75
Tessie's Time 75
The Pallbearers 76
Dies Irae 76
Pater Vincit Omnia 77
From the Neck Up 77
The Cortege 78
The Visitant 81
Mirkwood 82
Flight across the Moor 83
Methuselah 84
Lines Written in Bondage 85
Lines Written in Homage 85
Casa Abandonada 86
Allegory 87
Antiquary 87
Poet's Prayer 88
The Making of an Artist 89
Il Poverello 90
Apologia Pro Ecclesia Sua 91
Four Sorrows 92
Post Mortem 92
The Abyss 93
The Cask Master 93
The Dead Poet 94
The Muromachi Cranes 95
The Drowned Immortal 96
The Sixth Dalai Lama 97
The Collector 98
Bad Karma 99
Timing 100
Prayer to Milarepa 101
Notes 103
Index of Titles and First Lines 105
A Note About the Author 111
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2002

    good collection

    In 1998 Tim Murphy's first collection, The Deed of Gift, was published. And it is a brilliant collection. This year Murphy's second collection, Very Far North, has arrived. Murphy still writes mostly short poems with short lines (dimeter and trimeter). And he does it well. He has a tremendous wit, and even more impressive is the seriousness and quality of his verse that you don't normally see in lines and poems this short. Murphy is a regional poet (much like our greatest regional poet, Robert Frost) who speaks of local and global concerns. This collection isn't quite as good as his first (which would be hard to top), and like the first collection it does get a little weaker towards the end, but this is a marvelous work and one I highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2002

    Compelling and accessible poems.

    Timothy Murphy continues to be one of my favorite poets. He writes in a clear, concise, musical style reminiscent of Robert Francis and Robert Frost, although he is never derivative. He has that magical ability to paint a vivid picture in just a few words. He writes about life as a farmer and rancher on the Midwestern plains, about nature, and about love and spirituality (among other things). He is never maudlin or sentimental, yet his poems often get a 'rise' out of me. The immediacy of life and death is present in much of his poetry, which is one of the things that makes it so compelling. Indeed, to a city-dweller like myself, his poems are a breath of fresh air, as they remind me of the natural and primal struggles that I routinely avoid. Not all of his poems are so serious, though, as he can be very witty when the mood grabs him. His poems are metered and rhymed, and the majority are short, in the range of 4 to 15 lines, although there are quite a few over 20 lines. If you want to preview his poems, a selection can be found on my site, called 'The Poem Tree' (do a Google search to find the URL).

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