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The End of Dreams

Poems

64 pages / 5.50 x 9.00 inches / None

Poetry

  Paperback / 9780807131176 / April 2006

Winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist

Winner of the Oregon Book Awards Finalist

The End of Dreams is a celebration of the human capacity for adaptation amid the cycles of loss and renewal that characterize our intimate lives. Floyd Skloot mixes dramatic monologue with meditative and narrative verse in poems that explore family experiences, the lives of artists, historical crisis, love, nature, illness, and sudden, unpredictable change. The poet describes moments rich in complexity: when a grandfather's intentional loss at cards is really a victory of love; when Flannery O'Connor's waxing and waning illness becomes a merciful strengthening of her faith in death and resurrection; when dreams and reality merge for a man in his final seconds of life. Musical, sometimes funny, sometimes deeply poignant, twining nostalgia with a hard-earned acceptance of the present, these accessible, emotional poems probe the power of our transformative imagination.

Within her stillness she remembered 
the first signs: that brilliant butterfly 
rash on her face, a blink that lasted
for hours, the delicate embrace of sleep
veering as in a dream toward the grip
of death, hunger vanishing like hope.
Her body no longer knew her body as itself

but this too was a mercy. To leave herself behind and then return was instructive.
To wax and wane, to live beyond
the body and know what that was like, 
a gift from God, a mixed blessing shrouded 
in the common cloth of loss. Half her life 
she practiced death and resurrection. 
—from "O'Connor at Andalusia"

Floyd Skloot is the author of four novels, four memoirs, and seven books of poetry, including The End of Dreams, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, and Selected Poems, 1970-2005. His work has won three Pushcart Prizes, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award, and has been included in numerous anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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