Gone to Earth: Early and Uncollected Poems 1963-1976

Gone to Earth: Early and Uncollected Poems 1963-1976

by Eleanor Wilner
Gone to Earth: Early and Uncollected Poems 1963-1976

Gone to Earth: Early and Uncollected Poems 1963-1976

by Eleanor Wilner


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GONE TO EARTH brings to light, late in the long, distinguished career of poet Eleanor Wilner, her early uncollected poems—an unveiling of the first stages of a vital, imaginative process, in whose evocative, imagistic landscapes is enacted a drama of emergence from entrapment. In the often-painful drama of new birth, from the deadly strictures and oppressions of the older social forms, come the living forces undermining them—new life seeded out of a decaying order: “a wet nose / breaks the earth, and sniffs the river air.” Written during the poet’s immersion in the civil rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War, an inner liberating struggle is tuned to a collective channel where communal memory and vision are undergoing transformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597099226
Publisher: Crooked Hearts Press
Publication date: 05/11/2021
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Eleanor Wilner has published eight books of poetry, most recently Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems (Princeton UniversityPress, 2019) and Tourist in Hell (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Her awards include the 2019 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society of America; fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the NEA; the Juniper Prize, and three Pushcart prizes. Her poems have appeared in more than fifty anthologies, including the 2014 and 2016 editions of Best American Poetry. She has taught for many years for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Table of Contents

To the Reader 11

I Early Poems 1963-1973


Ritual 21

i In for it now

Mother of Pearl 25

Ripeness 27

Reveries in an Old Dawn 29

Tracks, at a Remove 31

Pastoral 33

Country Cousin 34

Undoing 36

ii Locked in

March Return 39

Even the Hands Ache 40

Resistance 41

Stasis 43

Daphne 44

No Trespassing 45

Brochure on the Humanities 46

iii Looking back

Admission Paid: Fort McHenry and Other Shrines 51

Fever 53

The Last Tapestry 54

The Invention of Writing 56

For a Russian Writer in Exile 57


Eastern Front, Western Range 60

Solstice Song 61

iv Bringing it down

Alarms 65

Lynda Bird's Lullaby 67

Lingua Franca 68

Scale Shift 69

Notations for a Song 70

Creation Story 71

Almost There 72

v Crossing

Crossing the Equator 75

Escape 77

Repair 78

Defection 79

On the Beach 81

Ariadne's Prayer 83

The Expedience of Emblems 85

II After That: Uncollected Poems

Out of the Unlikely, We Come to Dance 89

The Poets' Competition at Barcelona 90

A Green Blues for Etheridge 91

Recycled Song 92

That Story 94

Reading the News 95

Brother Cloud 97

What do myths have to do with the price of fish? 98

Olympus and the End of Winter 102

Notes 107

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