This new book by award-winning author Amy Newman explores as its formal structure the 72 definitions for the word “fall.” These lovely, accessible poems span a narrative drama—from the creation of the world and the subsequent exile of its first inhabitants, through the downward movement of the human body in its surrender to illness and the world's gravitational pull, to the beauty in the descent of spent foliage in autumn.
Each definition of “fall” engenders its own poem, and the definitions serve as poem titles. Section one explores the theological sense of The Fall, and section two focuses on the present world, addressing how the blemish of that Fall—real or imagined, religious or cultural—exists in us as homesickness, physical illness, and domestic and spiritual dissolution. The third section attends to the very gesture of defining, of finding ways to name and live in a world where both the landscape and the language are vividly alive yet saturated with memory and loss.
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Abecedarium Adam’s Amy Newman Appendixd apple beauty begin a physical birds bloom blossom body Botany calyx capital F cascade of lace cicatrize completely to achieve curve Deciduous decrescendo decussate deﬁned deﬁnition descend dream of loss dress earth eating the forbidden fall back fall ﬂat fallen fermata ﬁelds ﬁgure ﬁll ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrmament ﬁrst ﬂesh ﬂoral ﬂowers forbidden fruit garden Garden of Eden gesture grass gray heart hover hurt imagined inﬂuence or power inner pinks innocence and grace instance of falling lace or trimming leaf leaves less erect position limbs loss of innocence metaphor metaphor for God mouth noun petals rain Rainer Maria Rilke reckless relatively erect scent scrim seed shapes shut or move skin slope source in hoisting specimens fell stem surface tension sweet swift thing tongue transom tree’s trees trimming attached Usually capital vines wings words world’s yard