Columbarium by Susan Stewart PDF

By Susan Stewart

Winner of the 2003 nationwide booklet Critics Circle Award within the classification of poetry.

In her long-awaited fourth ebook of poetry, Susan Stewart offers us a chain of wonderful, numinous poems approximately truths discovered with the brain yet let loose during the senses. Modeled at the seventeenth-century perform of century kinds, or books of 1 hundred pages, Columbarium expresses the bond among the residing and the useless in voices of mother or father to baby, lover to liked, and mortal to the gods. The booklet arrives as a meditative reward from one in all our most valuable poet-critics.

Stewart frames her Columbarium with 4 poems harking back to the elements-to their damaging and inventive facets and to their roles within the human and greater than human worlds. either nest and crypt, the book's heart holds an alphabet of "shadow georgics," poems of guide and doubt that hyperlink wisdom and the subconscious. Questions of mortality, of goodness and discomfort, and of the fragility and tool of reminiscence animate those poems. in a single poem an apple calls the narrator again from the useless to take pleasure in the echoes of its types in fable and literature. In one other, the seeds of a pear tree display the fundamental team spirit that makes the range of lifestyles possible.

Stewart's Columbarium is either a memorial to the useless and a testomony to life.

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Additional info for Columbarium

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Leaving the fringe of light at the edge of the leaves, deep then deeper. • 47 • shadow/ Isaiah I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun-dial of Ahaz. . So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degree it was gone down. —Isaiah 38:8 In the book of Isaiah, God saves a man’s life by pushing back a sun-dial’s shadow exactly ten degrees. That night when you were inconsolable, damp with fever and pain and cried until your cry was gone, you, too, needed ten degrees for the white blood cells to stop their milling frenzy, for the infant ticking of your brain to go on.

Star for the kings, star for the shepherds, the kingfishers sing from the waves. On the halcyon sea, they nest their nests from twigs and briars and hay. • 53 • Lightning Was it the god of mercy or the god of light who calmed the water—glasswater, as far as the eye could see, and held the wind within its pen, and hid the first sounds of thunder behind the rumbling trucks on the bridge? And was it the god of mercy or the god of light who showered down the ions that stilled and sparked the air, expanding, flashing in the far horizon like flecks of silver—a thousand, then thousands— until the very distance vanished into gleam and floating weeds?

36 • Ellipse Night after night the astronomer imagined the stars in their orbits, building his orrery of glass and string; he was making a kind of singing that came from far beyond himself, beyond the sounds that human mouths will bring into a form of being. And then, one night, it came to him that the circles and spheres had no meaning—that, spinning, the globe’s center might not return, ever, to its point of beginning. Instead a new circle was entwined there and another, and another— • 37 • until each was traversed and described in its path.

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