Water / Music

Water / Music

by Peter Filkins

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on April 6, 2021

Overview

Exploring and delineating the space between nature and culture, the poems of Water / Music anchor themselves in the timely and the timeless. Rich and diverse in their formal intricacy, they move with ease from narrative to meditation, from close physical observation to the haunts of memory, and from lyric sorrow to the pleasure of living in the world.

The book's fifty-three poems are divided into five sections. Opening with a clear-eyed acknowledgment of present and historical suffering, the book takes readers on an interior journey through existential duress, then a celebration of art's ability to order and sustain. The fourth section features a rooted engagement with the natural world, while the fifth section returns to the joys and struggles of the quotidian.

Poems touch on the wartime background of Monet's Water Lilies, moonlight shining on a lake in summer, current anxieties seen through W. H. Auden's glasses, the oracular mystery of the natural world, the final tears of St. Augustine, the glow of narcissi forced in winter, the omen of climate change in spring's early arrival, and the "chalk-dry taste / of history" in the guise of an arrowhead. Water / Music, which includes a six-part elegy for Seamus Heaney, is fearless in its urge to trace "a lost world lost to bottomless translucency" and pose against it "patient mindful husbandry" that is "as real as veneration, / the smell of rain, the heft of stone." It embraces and celebrates life's mystery and the soul's repose amid "talismans at twilight, the whir of birds."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421440088
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Series: Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.29(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Peter Filkins is the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Bard College at Simon's Rock and a visiting professor of literature at Bard College. He is the author of four other books of poems: What She Knew, After Homer, Augustine's Vision, and The View We're Granted, as well as numerous translations and a biography, H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds.

Table of Contents

Part I
In Vivo
Uterine Vellum
Augustine's Vision
Auden's Glasses
The Hitler Bug
Triptych
Blood Moon Blues
Facial Recognition
Nobody's Road
To the Coming Disaster
Part II
Aubade
Little Problem
Ashore
Willow
Rain
Solstice
Nadir
Narcissi
Credo
Nocturne
Part III
Water Lilies
Landscape
Sun through Snow
Soundboard
Happy Trails
The Wild Boar
Late Elegy for Seamus Heaney
Annaghmakerrig
Epiphany
Poem
Part IV
Crows
Augury
False Cardinal
Forecast
Cockles
Arrowhead
The Toad
The Bass
Oracle
Starlings
For the Birds
Turtle
Part V
Writings
Moonlight
Boldini's Catch
Shell
At Anchor
O
The Hours
A Soft Day
Making Hay
Day In, Day Out
Envoy
Notes on the Poems
Acknowledgments

What People are Saying About This

"History—of the world, of language, of literature—is the subject of much of this fine book, but it is not the history of exclusivity or the spoils of winners, but of ideas, of feelings, of sensibilities that transcend the buying and selling of the material world and touch on the universal, the parts all of us must share and cherish. Peter Filkins engages with both the political and personal, the natural and the intellectual, and animating all of these marvelous poems is a keen moral sensibility that finds its home in rigorously made, sonorous, enduring poems."

Mark Wunderlich

"History—of the world, of language, of literature—is the subject of much of this fine book, but it is not the history of exclusivity or the spoils of winners, but of ideas, of feelings, of sensibilities that transcend the buying and selling of the material world and touch on the universal, the parts all of us must share and cherish. Peter Filkins engages with both the political and personal, the natural and the intellectual, and animating all of these marvelous poems is a keen moral sensibility that finds its home in rigorously made, sonorous, enduring poems."

James Lasdun

"Peter Filkins' lovely, searching poems address a multitude of subjects with a singular coherence of vision, probing deep into the realms of politics, art, and the natural world with the attentive intelligence and the joy in getting things right that together form the hallmark of a true poet. This is a collection built to last."

Jane Brox

"In Water / Music, Peter Filkins fixes his gaze on what we make of nature, and what disinterested nature makes of us. Here we are: earthbound, fleeting, spiritual beings with our longings, silences, and aggressions. Here we are, also, as makers, and makers of history, with its 'chalk-dry taste,' no less than makers of the past, with its smell of hay and smoky turf lingering in our traffic-laden hours. These poems, precise and beautifully tuned, resonate with all the complexities of our times."

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