The First Echo: Poems

The First Echo: Poems

by Shane Seely

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Overview

The First Echo meditates on the comings and goings of midlife—births and deaths, losses and gains, despairs and hopes. In poems that range from rigorous formalism to breathless free verse, Shane Seely reaches for instruction, understanding, and comfort. He finds solace in works of art—including paintings, literature, and film—as well as in nature, human relationships, and memory. He suggests that, like the bat or the whale, we humans understand ourselves through echo, through the sounds we send out and the sounds that come back. That returning voice, like our own and yet not quite ours, reminds us that to be alone is to be with a self that is at once strange and familiar. Evocative and engaging, The First Echo offers poems on memory, illness, and grief—reflecting on the sadness and knowledge attached to each.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807169636
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 995,175
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Shane Seely is the author of two previous books of poetry, The Surface of the Lit World and The Snowbound House. He is associate professor of English at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where he directs the MFA program in creative writing.

Read an Excerpt

It was only after,
in that after meant to be life as we know it,
that he, walking behind her—
she was, and can’t we understand this, angry with him—called out to her about the high cliff they were approaching,
which appeared to mark the end of the traversable landscape, and a moment later heard a voice return: someone was calling, the voice distant and fading, calling stop saying
please saying please come back.
—from “The First Echo”

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