The Other Life: Selected Poems of Herbert Scott / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Carnegie-Mellon University Press
The Other Life is testament to a quiet force in American poetry, to a generous soul who bore witness to the world with goodwill and good humor. While Herbert Scott was a modest man, this collection is not a modest accomplishment. Reading these wonderful, rich poems spanning his entire career gathered together in one book feels like a warm home we enter from the cold. We can take our boots off, sit down and calmly ease into the sustaining light of these poems.
About the Author
HERBERT S. SCOTT (1931–2006) was the founding editor of New Issues Poetry & Prose. His books of poetry include Sleeping Woman (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2005), Durations (Louisiana State University Press, 1984), Groceries (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1976), and Disguises (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1974). A limited edition letterpress book, In the Palm of Space, came out from Sutton Hoo Press in 2001. Scott taught at Western Michigan University, where he was the Gwen Frostic Professor of Creative Writing. DAVID DODD LEE is the author of The Nervous Filaments (Four Way Books, 2010), as well as four other books of poems: Abrupt Rural (New Issues, 2004), Arrow Pointing North (Four Way Books, 2002), Wilderness (March Street Press, 2000), and Downsides of Fish Culture (New Issues, 1997).
Table of Contents
Foreword - David Dodd Lee FROM DURATIONS, 1984 Achilles' Heel • The Woman Who Loves Old Men • Fathers of Desire • The Dead • Travelers • The Past • The Future • On the Missouri • Dinosaurs • The God That Keeps Us Alive • Early Love • Oklahoma Sunset • Woman with Pitcher • The Ceremony of the Ducks • The Man Who Would Be a Mother • As She Enters Her Seventieth Year She Dreams of Milk • The Other Life FROM GROCERIES, 1976 The Shoplifter's Handbook • LEARNING THE BUSINESS • Opening Up • The Childhood of a Grocer • Boss • Thief • Butcher's Dream • Boss on the Floor • Boss's Dream • Good Fresh Country Eggs • Merchandising • Red Meat • Hams • Six-Month Review • THE GROCER'S CHILDREN • Bag Boy • Pet Foods • Checker • The Clerk's Dream • Coffee • Dairy • Relief Locations Manager • Glassware • Produce's Mouse • Produce and Relief • Grazing • The Pig Man • Butcher's Wife • Boss's Father • Canned Goods • Canned Goods' Dream • Sunday • The Grocer's Children • Closing Up • THE FEAR OF GROCERIES • The Fear of Groceries • Edna • Schooling • The Lost Aisles • Cracked Eggs • Home Delivery • Boss's Lament • Armed Robbery FROM DISGUISES, 1974 The Apprentice Gravedigger • Crow Box • Grandfather Billy • The Beekeeper's Wife • Late Fall, Setting Traps • Passing the Masonic Home for the Aged • Lines on the Ninetieth Birthday of Addie C. • Excavations • Picture Puzzle • The Fabulous Frazonis Appear on the Bozo Show • For a Woman Whose Fiancé Was Killed at War • Winter in a Different House • Spring Commences • The Drinkers • Julius Caesar Appears on a Late-Night Talk Show • The Derelict • The Watcher • The Astronaut • The Burial Queen • And So Forth . . . • Moving Out FROM SLEEPING WOMAN, 2005 I • Sleeping Woman • The Unforgiven • Mime • In a Field of Sunlight • Nude on a Kitchen Stool • Bees • November • Neighbor • And the Sleet Cometh Down • The Most Terrible and Beautiful Thing • II • Conversation • The Song the Stone Child Sings • Wolf • The Song the Burnt Child Sings • Mendelssohn at Midnight • The Father's Song • Games • The Mother's Last Song • She Dreams a Letter from Her Son • The Song the Old Woman Sings • The Air We Now Breathe • The Song the Minister Sings • Winter Day • The Song the Lost Children Sing • Rain After Midnight • The Song the Assassin Sings • Bedtime Story • III • My Father's Fortune • Mother at the Mirror, 1939 • Oklahoma Pastoral • My Father's Bulldogs • Marshmallows • Evening Dawn • Hearts • Farm Dogs • That Summer • The Death and Resurrection of Jesse James • Evening, Milking • To Death, For My Father • St. Petersburg, My Father Walks the Beach • Poem • IV • Snowstorm on Mozart's Birthday • The Blue Turtle • In the Palm of Space • Poem
What People are Saying About This
"I'm struck by the wide range of Scott's work, from the stunning complexity and beauty of the long poems, 'Dinosaurs' and 'In the Palm of Space,' to Groceries, the groundbreaking collection of poems about work in a supermarket. Here is a poet who was committed to his own evolution as a writer, regardless of current trends or fashions. These unpretentious poems reflect the vision of someone always listening, always paying attention, looking slightly askew at our absurd, at times heartbreaking world. When Scott writes in the 'we' voice, he is speaking for all of us, and when he takes on the persona of a butcher or an apprentice gravedigger, a minister or an assassin, he does so with empathy and respect. His rich portraits of ordinary men and women are simply unforgettable. These poems sing with their spare, clean lines. They sing with quiet humility and gentle grace. They sing with the music of secular prayer. They bless us all."