Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014

Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014

by David Mason


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Long regarded as one of the best narrative and dramatic poets at work in the United States, David Mason has also been regularly producing soulful lyrics. In the ten years since the publication of his last collection of shorter poems, Mason has refined his art in the fires of wrenching personal change. The result is an almost entirely new poetic voice and his most rigorous and memorable book to date. Emotionally resonant and elegant in phrasing, the poems of Sea Salt, which have appeared in publications such as Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Harper’s , and Poetry , are a powerful evocation of crisis and change. These “poems of a decade” demonstrate that the author of Ludlow: A Verse Novel and The Scarlet Libretto is also a lyric poet at the top of his game.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597099653
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

David Mason is the Poet Laureate of Colorado. His books of poems include The Buried Houses, The Country I Remember, and Arrivals. His verse novel, Ludlow, won the Colorado Book Award in 2007, and was named Best Book of Contemporary Poetry of the year by the Contemporary Poetry Review. It was also featured on the PBS NewsHour. Mason is the author of an essay collection, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, and a memoir, News from the Village, which appeared in 2010. A new collection of essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, followed in 2011. Mason has also written the libretti for composer Lori Laitman’s opera of The Scarlet Letter, her operatic adaptation of Ludlow, and her oratorio, Vedem. A former Fulbright fellow to Greece, he lives in Colorado and Oregon and teaches at Colorado College.

Read an Excerpt

Sea Salt
Light dazzles from the grass
over the carnal dune.
This too shall come to pass,
but will it happen soon?
A kite nods to its string.
A cloud is happening
above the tripping waves,
joined by another cloud.
They are a crowd that moves.
The sky becomes a shroud
cut by a blade of sun.
There’s nothing to be done.
The soul, if there’s a soul
moves out to what it loves,
whatever makes it whole.
The sea stands still and moves,
denoting nothing new,
deliberating now.
The days are made of hours,
hours of instances,
and none of them are ours.
The sand blows through the fences.
Light darkens on the grass.
This too shall come to pass.

Table of Contents


Kéfi 17

New World 18

A Thorn in the Paw 19

The Teller 20

The Fawn 21

Lieutenant Mason 24

Energy 26

Fathers and Sons 27

Home Care 28

Mrs. Vitt 29

Driving with Marli 30


Child 33

The Nape 34

The Future 35

The Wards 37

The Man Who Lied 39

Out 40

In the Barber Shop 41

Sarong Song 42

Necessity 43

The Tarmac 44

Another Thing 45

Prayer to the Air 46

Let It Go 47

4 July 11 49

When I Didn't Get the News 50

14 July 11 53

Salmon Leap 54

Night and My Love 55

"All Change" 57

The Quire 58

Lop-Sided Prayer 59

Mind 60

The Dying Man 61

Our Dead 62

Presently 63

The Insert 64

Die When You Die 66

Night Song 67

The Laundromat in Sunlight 68

One Another 69

River Days 70

From a Side Yard 72

Leavings 73

The Oregon Way 74

At the Sylvia Beach Hotel 75

The Seaside Distances 76

A Deafness 77

She Is 78

Chrismata 79

The Soul Fox 80


Amaknak 83

Incantation 85

Praying with a Friend 86

Mrs. Mason and the Poets 87

Marco Polo in the Old Hotel 90

Andrítsena Revisited 92

A Sort of Oracle 94

The Bay of Writing 95

Fog Horns 96

Tree Light House 98

The Blue of the Bay 101

Sea Salt 102

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