The Flying Change: Poems

The Flying Change: Poems

by Henry Taylor


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Henry Taylor’s poems in The Flying Change embrace a wide range of subjects and tones. Taylor’s concern with the rural anecdote, demonstrated in his two earlier books of poetry, The Horse Show at Midnight and An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards, is here broadened to include not only funny stories called “snapshots” but also extended meditations on change and death.

Several of these poems take up the dark themes of the world’s randomness and our helplessness in the face of unforseen disasters. In “Landscape with Tractor,” the mundane task of mowing a field is interrupted by the discovery of a decaying corpse. In other poems Taylor treats similarly macabre situations with an undertone of dark humor, as when he writes of inviting the lightning in while bathing during a thunderstorm.

Throughout, Taylor combines everyday speech with careful control of form. In the title poem, “The Flying Change,” he explores the equestrian term literally and metaphorically.

but for a moment the shifting world suspends its flight and leans toward the sun once more,
as if to interrupt its mindless plunge through works and days that will not come again.
I hold myself immobile in the bright air,
sustained in time astride the flying change.

The poems in this collection are sometimes disturbing, sometimes gentle and peaceful. They are all the work of a poet who writes carefully and thoughtfully.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807112649
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 12/01/1985
Pages: 55
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Henry Taylor is professor emeritus at American University. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Crooked Run, Understanding Fiction, and Brief Candles. His honors include the Michael Braude Award for Light Verse and the Witter Bynner Prize, both from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.

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Flying Change 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ncnsstnt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That anyone would give this amazing, Pulitzer Prize winning collection a 1-star rating boggles my mind. This is a powerful and haunting collection of poetry that begs to be read aloud.