Perennial Fall

Perennial Fall

by Maggie Dietz

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At the heart of this unusually accomplished and affecting first book of poetry is the idea of the hinge—the point of connection, of openings and closings. Maggie Dietz situates herself in the liminal present, bringing together past and future, dream and waking, death and life.  Formally exact, rigorous, and tough, these poems accept no easy answers or equations.
Dietz creates a world alive with detail and populated with the everyday and strange: amusement-park horses named Virgil and Sisyphus, squirrels hanging over tree branches “like fish.” By turns humorous and pained, direct and mysterious, elegiac and elegant, the poems trace for us the journey and persistence of the spirit toward and through its “perennial fall”—both the season and the human condition. Cumulatively, the work moves toward a fragile transcendence, surrendering to difficulty, splendor, and strangeness. 
“In Perennial Fall, distinct, hard-edged images create a haunting counter-play of distortion, troubled insight or menace. The simultaneous clarity and shadow has the quality of a dream that can be neither forgotten nor settled. This is a spectacular debut and more than that—a wonderful book.”—Robert Pinsky

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226148502
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Series: Phoenix Poets Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 61
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Maggie Dietz is lecturer in creative writing at Boston University and assistant poetry editor for Slate magazine. She is coeditor of three books, most recently AnInvitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology.

Table of Contents

Three Dog Night
North of Boston
When She Asked I Said No You Cannot Play with It
Cotton Anniversary
Why I Don't Piss in the Ocean
Circle of Horses
Bright Lament
Perpetual Between
Back Yard with Figures
Altos I
The Interview
Wood Bowl
The Yellow House, 1978
Altos II
Bird Bath
Altos III
Colleen in Sonoma
Matthew 6: 19-21
Wisconsin, Insomnia
What's Become
Prayer to a Suicide
Speaking for Andrew

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