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Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014 Paperback – April 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597099651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597099653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In these poems of loss, discovery and love, David Mason delivers a stunning collection that places him in a unique position in American letters. With language both simple and elegant, comprehending deeply if not always comfortably the human landscape, and finding solace in the natural world, his lines remind us that pathos lies alongside humor, that profound moments are often merely a glance away, that new possibilities in the business of living arise for those bold enough to seek them. In his embrace of tradition Mason transforms and ultimately transcends the form, making it wholly his own. A masterful poet, apart from the crowd.”
—Jeffrey Lent

“David Mason’s poems are about moments of realisation. Something is otherwise. Something has been learned with pain and still it won’t settle. There are families moving through houses and institutions, ageing, losing grip, and there are the young and rising and memories of youth. The language is humane, unfussy, firm, moving but not calculated to move. And beyond the personal there is the country as it spreads through its inhabitants and leaves its mark on nature. ‘Nobody gave me a god,’ ends one poem, ‘so I perfect my idolatry of doubt.’ It is the doubt that is moving, the way it rounds itself and speaks.”
—George Szirtes

“Go to the heart of things, therein irony does not reside, Rilke tells us. These words came to my mind often as I read this newest collection from one of our country’s finest poets. Mason’s formal excellence is cause enough to celebrate these poems, but it is the emotional honesty, sentiment not sentimentality, that makes Sea Salt such a deeply moving and memorable reading experience.”
—Ron Rash

About the Author

David Mason is the Poet Laureate of Colorado. His books of poems include The Buried Houses, The Country I Remember, and Arrivals. His verse novel, Ludlow, won the Colorado Book Award in 2007, and was named Best Book of Contemporary Poetry of the year by the Contemporary Poetry Review. It was also featured on the PBS NewsHour. Mason is the author of an essay collection, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, and a memoir, News from the Village, which appeared in 2010. A new collection of essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, followed in 2011. Mason has also written the libretti for composer Lori Laitman’s opera of The Scarlet Letter, her operatic adaptation of Ludlow, and her oratorio, Vedem. A former Fulbright fellow to Greece, he lives in Colorado and Oregon and teaches at Colorado College.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol W. Bachofner on April 2, 2014
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The long-awaited new collection of poems by David Mason (Sea Salt by Red Hen) has finally arrived and I am excited. The book was barely out of its wrappings and I was IN it with my pencil making notes, looking at what Mason does that is so wonderful. I used to hold myself back from writing in other people's books, but I must do it to remind myself of how great poems are made.

As a New Expansionist poet, David Mason has the skills to underpin every poem with subtlety of meter, rhyme, and diction that makes them memorable. His use of rhyme and meter (largely iambic) is adept to say the least. Looking at his masterful sonnet, Another Thing, one may at first think this a free-verse poem because the poem does not scream !SONNET! but rather lets the reader slide into the form on the back of the diction and subtle rhythms. There is not an ounce of contrivance there. Line breaks and off-rhyme make the sonnet's frame seem invisible except to the highly trained reader. No matter. If a good poem is what you crave, consume this one and don't worry about analyzing the structure.

I am drawn to the diction of poems such as The Man Who Lied. "scab man, scar man" and "giver, taker, crazy friend" set the poem in the reality of humankind, and do so in a fresh way that makes this poem memorable, if brief. Of course there are the ever-present rhythms that make the poem move smooth and slick in the head. No "touch and run" this poem sticks. It is but one example of many where the diction carries the narrative to new heights of understanding. "4 July 11" is another such poem.
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