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Cross This Bridge at a Walk Paperback – June 1, 2006
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This is all a round-about way of discussing the new book of poems by Jared Carter, `Cross This Bridge at a Walk'. In the same way that, with Dylan, the emphasis is all on the songs; with Carter the emphasis is wholly on the stories themselves. As with Dylan, who places all his mastery of technique and tradition at the service of the individual song, who never uses a song simply to showcase his ability, or his personality, Carter subordinates his considerable mastery of formal technique and literary tradition to the stories themselves.Read more ›
the land holds..."
So begins "Raccoon Grove", the first narrative poem in Carter's newest collection of poetry. Decidedly Hoosier, the stories are lean, honest, and reflect the tellurian watershed of the silent Mississinewa River -- a river as enigmatic as the towns and people that lay within its valley. While Twain's Mississippi embodied freedom, Carter's Mississinewa is a twilit messenger, an ancient witness to all things buried, drowned, and nearly forgotten.
Past the glass factories, the paper mills, the gas wells and the sycamores, the river winds through five counties of the Indiana heartland. It is here, in this area, that Carter's mythical Mississinewa County lies. It is here where musselmen know "ebony shell from monkeyface, and why you never forked pimplebacks"; of tent revivals, midwestern thunderstorms, and preachers who discover miracles of a different sort; of young women creeping up the darkened stairs of the local photographer, a loner who indeed knows the difference between "art" and the hidden ambience of spirit; and of a rebel captain, a covered bridge, a Hoosier militiaman, and a handful of matches...
Born and raised in the Indiana town of Elwood, educated at Yale and Goddard, Carter has recreated the midwest as only a true Hoosier can. Behind his tales rise the shadows of Tecumseh, the Delaware and Miami, the frontier forts, and the people who came after to flood the land with change. The mark of their desires and tragedies live on, much as the Mississinewa dam still remains as both scar and savior. It is Carter's voice that demands we neither seek nor expect explanation from what we see here in this mystical landscape -- merely the acceptance of a real and ancient truth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Decades later, images from Mr. Carter's After the Rain and Work for the Night is Coming still have the capacity to haunt me. Read morePublished 24 months ago by NumbersBand15-60-75