In the Unwalled City

In the Unwalled City

by Robert Cording
In the Unwalled City

In the Unwalled City

by Robert Cording


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In the Unwalled City takes its title from Epicurus, who wrote: "Against other things it is possible to obtain security, but when it comes to death, we human beings all live in an unwalled city." This affecting book-which weaves prose memoir with poetry-explores that feeling of being open to attack-in this case the pain of grief after Robert Cording's thirty-one-year-old son Daniel died.

To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, here is "a grief observed," encompassing not only the big questions but also the impact of grief on daily life. For a poet like Cording, one form that grief takes is that of speaking to his son. In "Afterlife," Cording has a vision of his son replying: "let the emptiness remain empty . . . Stop writing down / everything you think I'm telling you. / This is your afterlife, not mine."

At the heart of In the Unwalled City is a series of questions: How does loss change a person? How does one chart a new life that both acknowledges a son's death and still finds a way back to delight? How does one now live fully in the unwalled city?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639821143
Publisher: Slant Books
Publication date: 09/01/2022
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 997,910
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.28(d)

About the Author

Robert Cording taught English and creative writing at College of the Holy Cross for thirty-eight years and then worked as a poetry mentor in the Seattle Pacific University MFA program. He has published nine collections of poems, the latest of which is Without My Asking, and a volume of prose on poetry and religion, Finding the World's Fullness. He has been awarded two NEA fellowships in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and has had work in numerous anthologies, including Poets of the New Century, The Best American Spiritual Writing, The Poetry Anthology, and The Best American Poetry.
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