Cold Pastoral: Poems

Cold Pastoral: Poems

by Rebecca Dunham


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Cold Pastoral: Poems by Rebecca Dunham

A searing, urgent collection of poems that brings the lyric and documentary together in unparalleled ways—unmasking and examining the specter of manmade disaster.

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Hurricane Katrina. The Flint water crisis. Thousands dead, lives destroyed, and a natural world imperiled by human choices. This is the litany of our time—and these are the events that Rebecca Dunham traces, passionately and brilliantly, in Cold Pastoral. In poems that incorporate interviews and excerpts from government documents and other sources—poems that adopt the pastoral and elegiac traditions in a landscape where “I can’t see the bugs; I don’t hear the birds”—Dunham finds the intersection between moral witness and shattering art.

Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a collection that reveals what poetry can—and, perhaps, should—be, reflecting ourselves and our world back with gorgeous clarity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571314789
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 831,007
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Dunham is the author of three previous books of poetry: Glass Armonica , winner of Milkweed Editions’ 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize; The Flight Cage ; and The Miniature Room , winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. She has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and was the 2005–6 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Mnemosyne to the Poet 3

Elegy, Wind-Whipped 7

Atavism at Twilight 14

Black Horizon 15

In Which She Opens the Box 16

Elegy, Sung in Dirt 19

Mud 20

Field Note, 2011 22

Et in Arcadia Ego 23

Suburban Elegy 24

Field Note, 2011 25

Initial Exploration Report: Macondo Well 26

Blowout 29

To Walk on Air 31

Elegy for the Eleven 32

Daybreak 39

There Lies the Hydra 40

To Narcissus 43

Backyard Pastoral 45

In Which She Considers the Water 46

Elegy, a Catalogue 47

Field Note, 2011 50

Elegy Written in Oil 51

A Hive of Boxes 57

Acknowledgments 69

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