by Maggie Smith


by Maggie Smith


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Notes From Your Bookseller

For those who came to Maggie Smith via her 2020 personal growth book Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change, you’re in for a treat with Goldenrod. Smith is the perfect mash-up of Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott and Billy Collins. Do yourself a favor and read the poem “Good Bones” from 2016, then you'll know to add a dash of Philip Larkin as well (thinking of his poem “Days” where we always find much solace). Maggie Smith's work takes our everyday events and tells us that life is worth every precious moment.


“To read Maggie Smith is to embrace the achingly precious beauty of the present moment.” —Time
“A captivating collection from a wise, accessible poet.” —People

From the award-winning poet and bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Keep Moving, and Good Bones, a stunning poetry collection that celebrates the beauty and messiness of life.

With her breakout bestseller Keep Moving, Maggie Smith captured the nation with her “meditations on kindness and hope” (NPR). Now, with Goldenrod, the award-winning poet returns with a powerful collection of poems that look at parenthood, solitude, love, and memory. Pulling objects from everyday life—a hallway mirror, a rock found in her son’s pocket, a field of goldenrods at the side of the road—she reveals the magic of the present moment. Only Maggie Smith could turn an autocorrect mistake into a line of poetry, musing that her phone “doesn’t observe / the high holidays, autocorrecting / shana tova to shaman tobacco, / Rosh Hashanah to rose has hands.”​

Slate called Smith’s “superpower as a writer” her “ability to find the perfect concrete metaphor for inchoate human emotions and explore it with empathy and honesty.” The poems in Goldenrod celebrate the contours of daily life, explore and delight in the space between thought and experience, and remind us that we decide what is beautiful.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982185060
Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers
Publication date: 07/27/2021
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 105,554
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received several Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been widely published, appearing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and more. You can follow her on social media @MaggieSmithPoet.

Table of Contents


This Sort of Thing Happens All the Time 3

Goldenrod 5

Animals 6

The Hum 8

In the Grand Scheme of Things 10

Ohio Cento 12

Lacrimae 14

Poem Beginning with a Retweet 16

Walking the Dog 17

Starlings 19

Written Deer 20

Rose Has Hands 22

At the End of Our Marriage, in the Backyard 24

If I could set this to music 26

Talk of Horses 28

Inventive Spelling 30

Stone 32

Threshold 34


Slipper 39

For My Next Trick 41

December 18, 2008 44

Small Blue Town 46

Ohio Cento 48

Airplanes 49

Tender Age 51

Prove 55

Poor Sheep 56

Half Staff 57

Perennials 60

Interrogators of Orchids 62

At the End of My Marriage, I Think of Something My

Daughter Said About Trees 64

Not everything is a poem 65

Confession 68

Small Shoes 70

Planetarium in January 72

After the Divorce, I Think of Something My Daughter Said About Mars 74

Poem Beginning with a Line from Basho 75


Invisible Architecture 79

Wild 83

Junk trees, 84

First Thaw 86

A Room Like This 88

Ohio Cento 90

Woman, 41, with a History of Alzheimer's on Both Sides of Her Family 91

What Else 93

Porthole 95

Joke 96

Homesick on a Farm in Franklin, Tennessee 98

During Lockdown, I Let the Dog Sleep in My Bed Again 99

Wife for Scale 100

Bride 102

Talisman 104

How Dark the Beginning 105

Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge 107

Acknowledgments 109

Credits 111

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