Red Rover is both the name of a children's game and a formless spirit, a god of release and permission, called upon in the course of that game. The "red rover" is also a thread of desire, and a clue to the forces of love and antipathy that shape our fate. In her most innovative work to date, award-winning poet and critic Susan Stewart remembers the antithetical forces - falling and rising, coming and going, circling and centering - revealed in such games and traces them out to many other cycles. Ranging among traditional, open, and newly invented forms, and including a series of free translations of medieval dream visions and love poems, "Red Rover" begins as a historical meditation on our fall and grows into a song of praise for the green and turning world.
Susan Stewart is the Annan Professor of English at Princeton University. Her previous books of poems, The Forest and Columbarium (which won the National Book Critics Circle Award), and her works of criticism, The Open Studio and Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (which won Phi Beta Kappa's Christian Gauss Award), are all published by the University of Chicago Press.