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Worldling

Overview

“With not one wrong move, not one word off-key or trivial, this collection of poems makes us experience intimate, yet not necessarily personal, contact with the poet who lets us at times see the struggle behind the refined sensibility. . . .Spires asks the big questions with such competence and polish that we admire her sweating, our metaphysical gladiator, guarantor of our considerable pleasure.” —Nancy Nahra, Philadelphia Inquirer
Winner of a 1996 Whiting Award. In her fourth collection of poems Elizabeth ...

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Overview

“With not one wrong move, not one word off-key or trivial, this collection of poems makes us experience intimate, yet not necessarily personal, contact with the poet who lets us at times see the struggle behind the refined sensibility. . . .Spires asks the big questions with such competence and polish that we admire her sweating, our metaphysical gladiator, guarantor of our considerable pleasure.” —Nancy Nahra, Philadelphia Inquirer
Winner of a 1996 Whiting Award. In her fourth collection of poems Elizabeth Spires addresses the elemental subjects of life and of literature: birth, death, creation, and intimations of immortality. The first section focuses on the experiences of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth from the points of view of both mother and child. The second section offers a reversal and reply in which the poems move out into a divided and divisive world. These poems are distinguished by an immaculate lyricism, a pristine sense for the natural world and the rhythms of language.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The poems in this eerily beautiful collection tackle the weighty themes of birth, death, change, and immortality. ("I have had a child. Now I must live with death," writes Spires on her daughter's birth.) Even so, she has a gossamer touch that draws the reader into the compelling rhythm of her struggle to come to terms with her own life ("Why am I here?" Why?), her maternal desire to hold fast to her child's infancy ("Let the children's game never end.../Let everything remain as it is!"), and her own childish wish to "stop all change and keep me/as I was; a child with a store of endless days." In the volume's final poem, the striking "Life Everlasting," the poet imagines having a choice between immortality and mortality, "the everlasting present of our life." With maturity's wisdom, she chooses the latter: "Our only paradise is here,/and we are rich as misers, rich in change!/We hold in our empty hands a currency of days/that we must spend down to the very last." Recommended for contemporary poetry collections.-Christine Stenstrom, Brooklyn P.L. New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393316285
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 76
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Spires is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Now the Green Blade Rises and The Wave-Maker. She lives with her husband and daughter in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches at Goucher College.

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Table of Contents

Truro 3
Worldling 4
Letter in July 6
The Summer of Celia 7
Theatre of Pain 8
The Robed Heart 10
The First Day 11
Celia Dreaming 12
Childhood 13
The Awakening 15
The Night and the Doll 17
The Unfeminine Flower 18
Fisher Beach 19
On the Island 22
Clock 27
Good Friday. Driving Westward 31
Easter Sunday 1955 33
The Rock 35
Mansion Beach 37
"Something Happens" 41
Seven Gough Square 43
The Haiku Master 44
Two Watchers 48
The Nap 50
The Bodies 52
The Great Sea 54
Roman Lachrymatory Bottles 56
Life Everlasting 58
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