By Austin Smith

ISBN-10: 1400848032

ISBN-13: 9781400848034

Almanac is a suite of lyrical and narrative poems that commemorate, and mourn the passing of, the area of the small relatives farm. yet whereas the poems are all inquisitive about a way with the agricultural Midwest, relatively with the folk and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm the place Austin Smith was once born and raised, they're something yet in simple terms local. because the poems think about farm existence, they open out to discuss early life and loss of life, the lack of culture, the destruction of the wildlife, and the severing of connections among humans and the land.

This assortment additionally displays on a protracted poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is partly a meditation in regards to the accountability of the poet, specifically the younger poet, while it falls to him to talk for what's vanishing. to cite one other Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has tried during this e-book to write down poems "clear because the glass of wine / on [his] father's desk each Christmas Eve." by way of turns exhilarating and disquieting, it is a outstanding debut from a particular new voice in American poetry.

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III. Bricks on a millpond, scissors on nails. A river stone, longing. A bell rope, deranged.  . A chair no one sits in. IV. A pine chest beneath a basket of seashells. A kitten yawning at an old bull. The sheepdog and his answer. 52 V. The simplicity of a farmer’s kitchen. A splinter of wood holds the door, butchering tools hang shadowless. VI. Pheasant feathers in green jars, distorted. Milk and blood sausage. The colorless ocean and a barbwire fence in the same window. VII. A stillborn calf. Tassels in the chinks.

He takes mine, tears it in half and hands me the lesser part. The man running the Ferris wheel has a tattoo of a spider spinning a web on his arm: as he starts it spinning yet again he imagines himself a spider and the lovers captured flies: he thinks of their blood as something sweet and commingled. The man who hands the kid the BB gun assumes he’ll hit one, maybe two of the dented targets. The stuffed animal he’s trying to win for the girl standing behind him cost half as much as the kid pays to play for it.

Want to come up from under there a second, Dean? ” “Your dad, he’s dead. Had a heart attack. ” “Sorry, Dean,” Jim said. ” “Now why don’t you go on home? ” It was really clogged and the wrench he had in his hand wasn’t the right size 22 to loosen the bolts but he pretended it fit, knocking it around so it would sound like he was making progress, just so he could lie under there awhile, his eyes closed, in the cool, bruised hay. 23 Coach Chance They were only boys but in the aperture of their need they grew so they loomed in the door of the training room like men who’d been wounded in war.

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Almanac: poems by Austin Smith


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