Winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, selected by Robert Wrigley
In these poems Max Garland confesses, even revels in, the fabricated nature of memory. He links personal and localized patterns (fingerprints, plowed fields) to the motions animating the insides of atoms and the unfurling of remote galaxies. Back on earth, the poems honor the decidedly homespun quality of grithow creatures both animal and human bear up in the face of mounting odds against them. Garland suggests that imagination itself requires grit, to be called upon when the more spectacular angels are otherwise occupied.
About the Author
Max Garland, originally from Kentucky, is the author of The Postal Confessions and Hunger Wide as Heaven. He is a former poet laureate of Wisconsin, a professor emeritus at the University of WisconsinEau Claire, and the first writer-in-residence for the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Read an Excerpt
. . . And the light which began to climb over the rim of horizon appeared stunned like ancestors in old photographs seem stunned. You look at them in their suspenders and bonnets and the austerity of their faces as if they knew, even then, in the minute’s wait for the shutter to close, they were goners. As if they knew the reason for the picture was time without pity. So I stood under the red pine, took a few more breaths from deep in the glacial instant of my one and only life, which hurt a little, like joy, by which I mean the edge of joy where it sharpens itself for the work it has to do. —excerpt from “Joy” © Max Garland. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
Sway I. At the Opening of an Exhibition Hymn for Joseph Sciurus Carolinesis Grit Joy The Word We Used for It The Woman Who Waved from the River If a Man Had a Boat Rehabilitation Mega-Foods Keep in Touch Bat in the House A Photograph of Earth from Space, 1972 II. Orion Spur Heaven Chesterfields Ghost Army The Bees Hollyhocks Green Day Nightly News Get Right With God I Call Your Name When I Think of You I Think of Her Stay Spring Snow III. Search Committee Reception Jesus Jogs If You Really Had To Happiness Tupelo After Leaving The Poetics of Space on a Chair on the Deck All Night The World as You Saw It The Wren Snowflake Chickadees Home Blink The Best Things in Life Are the Most Expensive