What Next, Old Knife?: Poems

What Next, Old Knife?: Poems

by David Axelrod


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Ranging across a diverse contemporary society of night-school courses and displaced “adult learners,” from concrete apartment blocks full of exiles and poor economic migrants to the Iraq War, Germany of the 1930s, Vilna of the 1920s, and medieval Girona, What Next, Old Knife? is a sobering encounter with class, culture, and history - personal and otherwise. Throughout this new collection of poems, David Axelrod struggles with how we learn and unlearn our humanity, imagining the ways in which individuals and whole societies live with and recover from moral catastrophe.

The collection ends with a long choral poem, a visionary dialogue between the living and the dead who insist that language can resist nihilism, reclaim hope, and enact future accord.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983997566
Publisher: Lost Horse Press
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Axelrod has published five collections of poems, The Jerusalem of Grass (Ahsahta), two limited-editions of long poems, The Kingdom at Hand and The Chronicles of the Withering State (Ice River), Departing by a Broken Gate (Wordcraft of Oregon), and The Cartographer’s Melancholy (Eastern Washington University Press), which won the Spokane Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He also has published a collection of cultural and environmental essays about the rural Northwest, Troubled Intimacies (Oregon State University Press). Along with his wife, Jodi Varon, he edits basalt: a journal of fine & literary arts. He has lived in La Grande, Oregon since 1988, where he teaches literature and creative writing at Eastern Oregon University.

What People are Saying About This

author of Dread Ai

[Axelrod’s poems are] a moving journey into a landscape where we are all pilgrims making our way down dark roads in search of some transcendent moment that may never occur, yet the will to keep traveling impels us ever forward until we reach a kind of solace and release.

Henry Hughes

Learned and lyrical, sensuous and cerebral, speaking as sharply, usefully and dangerously as a trusted knife, this is a great book of poetry.

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