Winner of the Poet's Prize Finalist
Lyrical beauty and power, imposing metaphor, and thought both deep and precise are hallmarks of Kelly Cherry's poetry, on view in Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems. With a dazzling mastery and range of tone, technique, form, and ideas, Cherry presents a lifetime of powerful writing that coheres into a single, seamless work. In it she responds to the natural world, to philosophical dilemmas, to spiritual longing, to political, ethical, and aesthetic questions, and, most powerfully, to love and loss. She shows us in sometimes searing poems where the hazards lie, and in transcendent verse a new, bright prospect, a "green place" on a farm in Virginia where time slows and holds and happiness abides.
The kind of day
when everything is so still
it seems to be an image of itself,
a mirrored photograph,
and only the secret lives of insects,
intense and determined among the leaves and grass,
enact the motivations of the real.
In this shadowless light
of uncontaminated noon, a fence post
gleams as if gilded, church spire where there is no church.
The impossibly beautiful blossoms of the crab apple
have spilled onto the ground,
an imperturbable pool of pink and white.
This illusion of the real, almost real.
From "In the Field" published in Hazard and Prospectby Kelly Cherry.
Copyright © 2007 by Kelly Cherry. All rights reserved.
Kelly Cherry has previously published twenty books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, nine chapbooks, and translations of two classical plays. She is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She and her husband live in Virginia.
Review of Hazard and Prospect
"...this is the poet at her best, and the poems collected here allow us to see her treat her strongest subject—, love, and at every age — over the course of a career that remains vibrant."
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