Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets 63)

Almanac: Poems (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets 63)

By: Austin Smith (author)Hardback

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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."

About Author

Austin Smith was born in the rural Midwest. Most recently, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.


The Silo 5 Queen-Anne's Lace 7 Fort-Da 8 Thistles 10 The Night My Mother 11 How a Calf Comes into the World 13 Lightning 15 Autumn's Velocity 16 The Brinkmeiers 19 Aerial Photograph, Glasser Farm, 1972 20 Dean 22 Coach Chance 24 The Man Accused of Fucking Horses 25 The Bait Shop 26 Memoir of My Imaginary Sister 27 Neon Apotheosis 28 Bingo 31 Stephenson County Fair in Wartime 33 Nancy and Dwayne, Danville, Virginia, 1970 34 Romeo and Juliet in the Tomb 35 The Battlefield 37 The Pit 39 The Man Who Poisoned Robert Johnson 40 Nazi Soldier with a Book in His Pants 41 Sharpener of Knives 43 Overlord 45 The Hotel 48 The Equation 50 Resonance 51 Postcards to Andrew Wyeth 52 Recollection 54 Letter to My Father Written in a Bar in Mitchell, South Dakota 55 On a Greyhound Bus in America 56 Mission 57 The Scythe 58 The Mummy in the Freeport Art Museum 59 Sirens 60 A Serious House on Serious Earth 61 Poem for Les, Homeless 63 Elegy for Missing Teeth 65 Directions for How to Use Crest Whitening Strips 66 The Trencher 68 Instructions for How to Put an Old Horse Down 71 The Key in the Stone 73 Wake 75 Notes 79 Acknowledgments 81

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691159188
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 96
  • ID: 9780691159188
  • weight: 28
  • ISBN10: 0691159181
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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