Against Sunset

Against Sunset

by Stanley Plumly


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A powerful new volume from the National Book Award finalist that demonstrates how the lyric is essentially elegiac.

Whether addressing the deaths of friends and other poets or celebrating the closing of the day and the autumn of the seasons, Against Sunset reveals Stanley Plumly at his most personal and intimate. As much an homage to the rich tradition of the Romantics as it is a meditation on memory itself, these poems live at the edges of disappearances.

From “Against Sunset”

The horizon, halfway disappeared between above and below—

night falls too or does it also rise out of the death-glitter of water?

And if night is the long straight path of the full moon pouring down

on the face of the deep, what makes us wish we could walk there,

like a flat skipped stone?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393253948
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/08/2016
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 795,178
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stanley Plumly (1939—2019) authored ten books of poetry and four works of nonfiction, including Elegy Landscapes, Posthumous Keats, and The Immortal Evening. Winner of the Truman Capote Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize, among others, Plumly was Maryland's poet laureate from 2009 to 2018 and taught at the University of Maryland where he founded the graduate program in creative writing.

Table of Contents


Dutch Elm 3

Brown Fields 4

With Deborah in Amherst 7

Dream 10

Love Poem 11

Variation on a Line From Elizabeth Bishop's "Five Flights Up" 12

Terminal Insomnia 13

Jack Gilbert 15

Crashing at Bill's After My Class at NYU, Two Bottles of Italian Red, Real Stilton and Some Brie and Almost Stale Saltines 17

Mortal Acts 18

To Autumn 20

Beauty 22


Red Brick 25

My Noir 27

The Sleeping Dogs of Erice 32

Travel in the Afterlife 34

Nineteen Species of Sandpipers - Sibley 35

Seasonal 36

Thanking Friends for the Art of Ornithology 40

Shelley's Arrogance 41

Paul Guest Addresses his Apple with a Stylus 43

Manhattan 46

Aspects of the Novel 47

Early Nineteenth-Century English Poetry Walks 48


Too Broad a Brush the Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C. 63

Suicide 65

Limited Sight Distance 66

Poliomyelitis 72

Interrogating Matthew 5-8 73

Within The Hour 74

Lost Then Found Photograph of My Parents 75

At the Picture Window 76

Radio 78

A Moment for Maurice Sendak 79

Elegy 81

Against Sunset 82

References 83

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