In the pivotal poem "Marking Time," which appears almost exactly halfway through Peter Filkins’s fourth collection of poetry, the speaker reflects on the death of a sibling and how time is marked by our memories. These memories, these momentswhether spent contemplating a painting by Vermeer or the simple toss of a bean bagultimately shape who we are. "Yet you are with me here, with me here again, / where neither that moon nor you exist, but live / tethered to this memory composed of words."
These are poems unafraid to be graceful and engaging. They attain an assurance and stability rare in contemporary poetry, while their careful balance of sadness and joy reminds the reader of the difficult negotiations we make in life.
About the Author
Peter Filkins is a poet who teaches writing and literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He is the author of What She Knew and After Homer as well as the chapbook Augustine's Vision. He has also translated the poetry and novels of Ingeborg Bachmann and the novels of H. G. Adler.
Table of Contents
Dismantling the Birches
The News at 10
Requiem for the Body Snatchers
Girl, 2, Pulled from Pond
Waterfall, Rock, Trout
A Certain Grammar
A County Quilt
Letter to Susan in Seattle
The Broken Piano
A Stand of Maple
Notes on the Poems
What People are Saying About This
"Peter Filkins's beautifully articulated, reticulated poems are filled with questions, and the questions they're filled with are the unanswerable ones. Their distinction and power lie in their ability to make us ask those questions, too, as if for the first time."
"His subtle art touches the pulse of both sorrow and praise."
"Peter Filkins manages to use form to lure the colloquial toward song, as well as to invest moments of song with an awareness of the perils and possibilities of our everyday world. It's a tension that is revelatory, and one that claims, at the end, the power of poetry to survive, and to help us."
"As one who hailed Peter Filkins’s stunning first book, I am happy to say that its great promise has been realized with The View We’re Granted."
"A deeply moving collection. Filkins traces out the rhythms of loss and renewal, of childhood and adulthood, in a blank verse so skillfully worked it seems effortless. Very few poets today write with such power and assurance."