Field of Light and Shadow: Selected and New Poems

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, May 31, 2011 - Poetry - 304 pages
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A career-spanning volume from one of our most valuable living American poets, offering poems that display an exquisite ear tuned to the natural world, to love and friendship, and to the continually renewable possibilities of language. David Young’s settings are at once local and universal—an adolescence in Omaha, late summer on Lake Erie, a sleepless night in the backyard during a meteor shower. He moves with dazzling ease between culture and nature, between the literary and the philosophical, microcosm and macrocosm. Here are poems on Osip Mandelstam and Chairman Mao, the meaning of boxcars on the track, the beautiful names of the months, and a fox at the field’s edge, charged in each case by Young’s fierce intelligence and candor in the face of grief and loss.

“We float through space. Days pass,” Young writes in “The Portable Earth-Lamp.” “Sometimes we know we are part of a crystal / where light is sorted and stored.” His metaphysical reach, balancing remarkable humility with penetrating vision, is one of the great gifts of this exemplary career in poetry.


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Contents

Teddy Roosevelt
37
ThirtyTwo Prose Poems
45
from The Names ofa Hare in English
57
A Lowercase Alphabet
75
Three Snapshots One Letter
115
The MoonGlobe
123
fmm Poem in Three Parts
136
The Portable EarthLan1p
157
At the Little Bighorn
238
Ihloc in Late_anuay
251
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About the author (2011)

David Young is the author of ten previous books of poetry, including Black Lab and At the White Window. He is a well-known translator of the Chinese poets and of the poems of Petrarch. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships as well as a Pushcart Prize, he is the Longman Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at Oberlin College and the editor of the Field Poetry Series at Oberlin College Press.


From the Hardcover edition.

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