Summons: Poems

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Sarabande Books, 2000 - Literary Collections - 72 pages
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In her fourth book of poems, Deborah Tall serves up, as Charles Simic remarks, "a huge feast of words and images." Spare, charged, eloquently complex, her poems distill emotion to its precipitate. In "Cottage by the Beach, Normandy," loneliness is this: "A dozen tulips/erect in the centerpiece, / hold their allotment of empty air." In "Winter Solstice," war yields, "A hillside of markers, /a showroom of tombs./The bushes fruited with ice."
"Summons" is a call to speak out--in the face of violence, cruelty, and loss--and a summoning up of the forces of nature and humanity that console.
"The art of prosody, of which Deborah Tall is a master, is a jeweler's art. It is about ascertaining the weight of words, measuring each one of them in turn against silence and time. . . . As we read, line by line, sounds turn into music, words and images grow in meaning. If you believe this is what "all" poets do anyway, you are wrong. Only the best of them know how to make us reread with increasing pleasure a few lines of poetry."--from the foreword by Charles Simic
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Deborah Tall is the author of three previous books of poems (most recently "Come Wind, Come Weather" from State Street Press) and two books of nonfiction: "The Island of the White Cow: Memories of an Irish Island" (Atheneum, 1986) and "From Where We Stand: Recovering a Sense of Place" (Knopf, 1993). Tall is the editor of the "Seneca Review" and co-editor of the anthology "The Poet's Notebook" (Norton, 1995). She has taught writing and literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1982 and lives in Ithaca, New York.
 

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Summons: poems

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Reading Tall's poetry, one is reminded of the sparse elegance of an expensive restaurant in which presentation is aesthetically flawless and the food delicious though the portions are small. Many of ... Read full review

Contents

Dividing of Ways
3
Heat 49
6
Rapt
18
Cottage by the Beach Normandy 52
32
Grounded
46
Marching Orders
51
Baptismal
64
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About the author (2000)

Tall is the editor of the Seneca Review and has taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1982. Tall is the author of three previous books of poems (most recently Summons from Sarabande), and two books of nonfiction: The Island of the White Cow and From Where We Stand. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

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