Spans - Cover
Goodreads Icon


New and Selected Poems

138 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available


  Paperback / 9780807157060 / September 2014
Through the poems in Spans, Elizabeth Seydel Morgan examines life from the perspective of one who appreciates the complexities of the world but finds pleasure in events as predictable as the changing of the seasons or as uncomplicated as a visit to an art museum. Morgan accepts the inevitability of change but mourns the loss of “what we don’t know / that we cannot live without.”
By couching her wry insights in deceptively simple language, Morgan can commemorate a long-ago game of hide-and-seek in the same darkly humorous tone that she employs to recall tragedies both natural and manmade. With wit and more than a touch of melancholy, she contemplates the disappearance of the world’s honeybees, the vagaries of friendships and romances, and the quiet satisfaction of garden plantings. Her poems invite the reader to examine without resentment the multifaceted world we inhabit, with all its frustrations and pleasures.

A native of Atlanta, Elizabeth Seydel Morgan is the author of four previous poetry collections. Morgan lives in Richmond, Virginia, near her three children and five grandchildren.

Praise for Spans

“One of the great pleasures of poetry is the new cast words give familiar moments, objects, feelings. That’s the great gift of Elizabeth Seydel Morgan’s new collection, Spans: the wry, amused, understated, often sharply pointed take of her saying. The effect draws close the landscape, the weathers of mood, the intensity of experience as if, as in Dickinson, all is truly itself for the first time. Only a pro writes this well, and few do it for long. This is a remarkable accomplishment, a splendid selection and a brilliant collection that ought to earn Morgan devoted new readers. Cheers to this fine poet.”—Dave Smith, author of Hawks on Wires

“Elizabeth Seydel Morgan’s poetry has always, to paraphrase James Brown, taken us to the bridge. Lucid and visceral, knowing and sexy, reverent and ballsy, her limber, tensile lyrics allow the worlds of Eros and Thanatos to exchange their secrets. The great gift of Spans is the chance it affords the reader to cross and re-cross life’s bridges in Morgan’s perspicuous, wry, and irresistible company. Whether shocked into awed silence by the theophanic appearance of a heron in the front yard or shaking, with Hopkins-haunted despair, ‘a cramped fist to God for crippled things, / for all things clotted and kinked,’ these poems are keenly attuned to laughter and weeping, ‘the truest sound[s we] make.’”—Lisa Russ Spaar, author of Vanitas, Rough

Found an Error? Tell us about it.