Field Theory: Poems
With solemnity and sometimes humor, but always with grace, Ms Trede will transport you. She takes you through time, using her coming of age in New York City as a central viewing point for shifts in American culture, from post-World War II, across the Age of Aquarius to, and past, September 11, 2001. She explores the world, not in the abstract, but in precise and vivid language about loving friendships, joyful and sad recollections about family, meditations on marriage, and so much more.According to poet Jean Valentine, “Field Theory is a moving, fierce collection of poems: sometimes playful, always hard-headed, these are sharply observed meditations, across space and time, on village, nation, gender, and class. Sometimes witty, sometimes tender, Trede's poems are direct, faithful, sometimes joyful, sometimes grieving, and always courageous: this is the work and play of a wide-awake conscience.”“So much satisfaction, but how much delight? Meredith Trede's poems obligingly tell us where to look for that, and where not to… [these] poems areabout many kinds of satisfaction-energy, diligence, persistence-but their delight is afforded by the words chosen. That is the secret of (her) poetry.” Richard HowardTrede also casts a keen eye on art, both to view and admire, and as a springboard to social commentary such as the ethnic biases handed down by past generations. The poems inField Theory are sometimes dreamy, but always real and present. Her writing has a quiet forcefulness: “look at this” be it famine or genocide, but those poems comfortably coexist with others of gentle and ironic humor.Meredith Trede's Field Theory is thick with lives; when the reader opens the book it's as if he or she has walked into a crowded room. She makes portraits with great musicality and tenderness, invites readers into her story, and encourages them to recall their own parallel stories and to draw their own conclusions.
“Field Theory is a book of grown up poems written by and for grown ups: unflinching, tender, original, and deeply skilled. It's a terrific book.”—Thomas Lux
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