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American Poems: Book: Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)
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 Home » Book » Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)

Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets)

  • Author:Austin Smith
  • Publisher:Princeton University Press
  • Category:Book
  • List Price: $12.95
  • Buy New: $7.52
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  • Seller:BooKnackrh
  • Sales Rank:1,112,840
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:96
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
  • Dimensions (in):9 x 6 x 0.3
  • Publication Date:September 23, 2013
  • ISBN:069115919X
  • EAN:9780691159195
  • ASIN:069115919X
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis

Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land.

This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems "clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father's table every Christmas Eve." By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry.

______

From Almanac:

THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM


Austin Smith

Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town

Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs

of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks

or the molds of busts donated by the Art

Institute of Chicago to this dying

town's little museum, there was a mummy,

a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit

room by himself. I used to go

to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh

who, expecting an afterlife

of beautiful virgins and infinite food

and all the riches and jewels

he'd enjoyed in earthly life,

must have wondered how the hell

he'd ended up in Freeport, Illinois.

And I used to go alone into that room

and stand beside his sarcophagus and say,

"My friend, I've asked myself the same thing."


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