In Pearly Everlasting, Thomas Reiter crafts authentic lives, both autobiographical and fictional, historical and contemporary, across a wide range of locales, maintaining a steady focus on the lore of occupations while revealing the speakers' crucial connection to the natural world. These poems come in earthtones -- the colors of strenuous labor; dried flowers from a midwestern prairie; a centuries-old bone newly uncovered; the surf and sky, gold and coral deposits, of the West Indies; the pure soul of a freshly thawed stream; and pepper-bush, Indian pipes, yellow gorse, anemones, pearly everlasting, spoken as lovingly as children's names.
Through a rich mix of lyrical and narrative forms, Reiter honors hard livelihoods that demand concentration of mind and muscle -- Oregon Trail pioneers, farmers, railroad workers, natives and early colonists in the Caribbean, coal miners: "Where else would boys from slagtip valleys / go but into the mines of Wales?" The physicality and technique honed by seasoned whalers, however, contrast with the younger generation's skills: "Our sons all work in tourist hotels. / Tell me where is the memory in that".
Memory and the past, real or imagined, are palpable in Reiter's verse and often align in a kind of double exposure with the present. "At his window in the Stonehill Home / my grandfather invites me to watch / the prairie horizon, looking past / wheat fields and silos to where / once again it's 1887 / and a man is trampled unyoking oxen". And resonating through the poems are botanical details, gritty and convincing, never ready-made or sentimental. In Pearly Everlasting, flora can be as close and important as family members, with a long-distancereach in emotion and significance: "My mind fills with rootings, annuals / and perennials, their stems moving / through furniture, tools, utensils, / their blossoms crowding under sailcloth / so I can hardly breathe / or cry out, I am Esther Pennell, / or see the Trail happening before me / in its penitence of yokes".
For Reiter as well as his poems' personae, self-awareness becomes a matter of discovery, passion, and a finely wrought wisdom: "If a riverbed over time / changes by oxbow and undercut, / where am I now? ... / My weight is nothing. I'm here / for the time the river gives me".
|Title:||Pearly Everlasting||Publisher:||Louisiana State University Press|
|No. of Pages:||80|
* The book summary and image may be of a different edition or binding of the same title.
* Book reviews are added by registered customers. They need not necessarily buy book.
* These books are NOT available for reading online or for free download in PDF or ebook format.
* Price can change due to reprinting, price change by publisher or sourcing cost change for imported books.
www.infibeam.com/Books is the biggest online bookstore in India for sale of books at best price - fiction, literature, audiobooks, study guides, novels, story books, rare books, textbooks and books by popular authors. These are available in various editions and bindings e.g. paperback and at best discount.
Safe & Secure Shopping