Poems: New and Selected

Poems: New and Selected

by Ron Rash


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Poems: New and Selected by Ron Rash

A collection of haunting lyricism that evokes the beauty and hardship of the rural South, by a revered American master of letters—the award-winning, bestselling author of the novels Serena, Something Rich and Strange, and Above the Waterfall.

In this incandescent, profound, and accessible collection, beloved and award-winning poet, novelist, and short-story writer Ron Rash vividly channels the rhythms of life in Appalachia, deftly capturing the panoply of individuals who are its heart and soul—men and women inured to misfortune and hard times yet defined by tremendous fortitude, resilience, and a fierce sense of community.

In precise, supple language that swerves from the stark to the luminous, Rash richly describes the splendor of the natural landscape and poignantly renders the lives of those dependent on its bounty—in cotton mills and tobacco fields, farmlands and forests. The haunting memories and shared histories of these people—their rituals and traditions—animate this land, and are celebrated in Rash’s crystalline, intensely imagined verse.

With an eye for the surprising and vivid detail, Ron Rash powerfully captures the sorrows and exaltations of this wondrous world he knows intimately. Illuminating and indelible, Poems demonstrates his rich talents and confirms his legacy as a standard-bearer for the literature of the American South.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062435521
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/21/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 634,896
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

Table of Contents

Resolution 1

Raising the Dead

Last Service 5

Under Jocassee 6

Taking Down the Lines 8

Fall Creek 9

Shee-Show 10

Deep Water 11

In Dismal Gorge 12

Black-Eyed Susans 13

Whippoorwill 16

Shelton Laurel 17

Wolf Laurel 19

Speckled Trout 20

In the Barn 21

Barn Burning: 1967 22

Work, for the Night Is Coming 23

The Debt 24

Watauga County: 1974 25

Burning the Field 26

At Reid Hartley's Junkyard 27

Spear Point 28

Kephart in the Smokies 29

Barbed Wire 30

The Search 31

Brightleaf 33

At Leicester Cemetery 34

Madison County, June 1999 35

The Wolves in the Asheville Zoo 37

The Watch 38

Bartram Leaves Jocassee 39

Carolina Parakeet 40

The Vanquished 41

A Homestead on the Horsepasture 42

Bottomland 43

Tremor 44

Analepsis 45

The Day the Gates Closed 46

Beyond the Dock 47

The Men Who Raised the Dead 49

Among the Believers

On the Border 53

Plowing on Moonlight 54

The Corpse Bird 55

Madison County: 1864 56

On the Watauga 57

Before 58

The Exchange 59

A Preacher Who Takes Up Serpents Laments the Presence of Skeptics in His Church 61

The Afflicted 63

The Preacher Is Called to Testify for the Accused 64

Signs 67

Animal Hides 68

The Ascent 69

From The Mabinogion 70

In a Springhouse at Night 71

Blue River 72

Spring Lizards 73

Watershed 74

Ginseng 75

Lasting Water 76

Passage 77

Barn Loft: 1959 78

The Fox 79

August 1959: Morning Service 80

Abandoned Homestead in Watauga County 82

Among the Believers 83

Good Friday 1995, Driving Westward 84

Eureka Mill

Invocation 87

Eureka 89

In a Dry Time 90

Mill Village 91

Low Water 92

Spring Fever 94

Accident 95

The Sweeper 96

The Famous Photographer Visits Eureka 97

Bearings 98

Jokes 100

The Stretch-Out 101

Flying Squadron 102

The Ballad of Ella Mae Wiggins 103

1934 104

Black and White 105

Boundaries 106

Revenant 107

Brown Lung 108

Plane Crash 109

Listening to WBT 110

Last Interview 111

First Shift 113

Photograph of My Parents Outside Eureka Cotton Mill. Dated June 1950 114

July 1949 115


First Memory 119

The Trout in the Springhouse 120

Milking Traces 121

Sleepwalking 122

Junk Car in Snow 123

Time Flow 124

Watauga County: 1959 125

Bonding Fire 126

Pocketknives 128

Shadetree 130

Car Tags 131

Spillcorn 132

Emrys 133

Mirror 134

Woman Among Lightning: Catawba County Fair, 1962 135

Bloodroot 136

The Reaping 138

Elegy for Merle Watson 139

White Wings 140

Resonance 141

Three A.M. and the Stars Were Out 142

Genealogy 145

The Code 146

The Crossing 147

The Pact 149

Good Friday 2006: Shelton Laurel 150

Reading the Leaves 151

Boy in a Boxcar 152

Pentecost 153

Watauga County: 1962 154

Price Lake 155

New Poems

Wet Moon 159

Accent 160

The Country Singer Explains Her Muse 161

Weasel 162

Tracks 163

Moody Spring 164

The Call 165

Direction 166

Acknowledgments 167

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