A House for Last Year's Summer: Poems

A House for Last Year's Summer: Poems

by Terry Hermsen


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A House for Last Year's Summer: Poems by Terry Hermsen

Terry Hermsen's new book ranges from bicycles to baseball, children to elders, Ohio rivers to the Strait of Magellan, offering "words like stepping stones" that lead us into a world gone deep and strange, redolent with memory, association, and feeling. Hermsen's mindful attention--intense yet delicate--yields crafty, loamy poems in forms from sonnets to shaped poems to riddles. The surprises--of language, imagery, and insight--are many, and the rewards are rich.

--Jeff Gundy, author of Abandoned Homeland

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947504011
Publisher: Bottom Dog Press
Publication date: 08/06/2017
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Terry Hermsen, Ohio Poet of the Year (2009), has taught in the Writers in the Schools program for the Ohio Arts Council from 1979 - 2003, visiting schools, prisons, senior centers, and national parks. He now teaches Creative Writing and Environmental Literature at Otterbein University and holds an MFA in Poetry from Goddard College and a PhD from Ohio State in Art Education. His books of poetry include 36 Spokes: The Bicycle Poems and Child Aloft in Ohio Theater, and The River's Daughter. He has recently co-translated and published Chilean poet Christian Formoso's book El cementerio más hermoso de Chile.

He is a father of three, a grandfather of two, a bicyclist, gardener and viewer of stars.

Read an Excerpt

Swans on Berlin Station

Momentum's such a matter of degree. Take this boy

who at four and a half already thinks too much

and cannot keep his bike in motion, stops mid-

sidewalk to discuss the word. The mole, fur

grown over her tiny eyes, digs with five-digit, wide,

incongruous paws, tunnels through the ground

at the speed of twelve feet an hour. The conductor,

grown white and bristled, gathers up the week

for his choir, strings and pushes the air through

his hands, now arched with the right to bring it close

to an imagined diaphragm, simultaneously pinched

with the left and parsed like a single note

threaded through the cloth of their darkened voices.

Then these swans on Berlin Station, farm road

toward the reservoir strung out to the east, rise from

the ditch to stop me as I barrel along at 60, the mother

and three cygnets meeting the father at the yellow stripe.

How awkward they all seem, parents rocking their unlikely

frames, feathers poured over them like aging cream,

their gray fledglings lined up for the long trek

back to water, steady, with no wings yet, no cover,

no bright and depthless surface upon which to glide.

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