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Field Folly Snow: Poems (The VQR Poetry Ser.) Paperback – February 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
The sharp, pastoral imagery of Parks's debut is set ablaze by an ominous tone and the author's fine musical ear. Her tight tercets and prose blocks convey a sense of isolation, which, when broken by the appearance of someone other than the speaker, is as jarring as a rock heaved into a still pond: No matter how dearly I willed my floodgates shut, she writes, I took on water like a buckshot dory, a hungry bucket. Nature is alternately a close companion and a spurning lover. In the book's third section (of five), a series called Letters of a Woman Homesteader, brief, glistening epistles addressed to a mysterious Mrs. invoke a lonely speaker sometime in the past, brimming with desire, but hemmed in by manners: Want/ leisure, physician, housekeeper, him. Parks is a poet to watch. (Apr.)
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What an intriguing book. Parks isn’t trying to close the coffin lid on language. This is fresh work with a surpassingly delicate sense of language. This is a totally admirable volume.(Jim Harrison)
The pure joy and almost childlike playfulness of speech-making is evident in every poem. On the other hand, the mind in these poems wrestles relentlessly with sense, trying to find sense, trying to uncover meaning through various uses of intense perception, finely crafted description, and lyric resolution. . . . The poems in this collection transfigure the world, allowing the reader to experience landscapes haunted by a passionate interiority.(Li-Young Lee from the introduction to Cold Work)
The sharp, pastoral imagery of Parks's debut is set ablaze by an ominous tone and the author's fine musical ear. Her tight tercets and prose blocks convey a sense of isolation, which, when broken by the appearance of someone other than the speaker, is as jarring as a rock heaved into a still pond.(Publishers Weekly)
This poetry collection demands close reading and deep engagement to follow its levels of found material and its internal discoveries, and these poems are worth the effort.(New Letters)
Top customer reviews
Here are just a few of the many lines I had to write down in glee:
I could grow old again
my one room of world
and waited for the click that means the safety is off
be the only/hovering thing
I wanted it (happiness, I mean)
this is a kind of love, a state of need
I'm shaped like invitation
to be water bending
to be the next verse
I am the instrument of your intensity
Shake me/something fierce and I will be the figure of what you did
I didn't understand the Woman Homesteader poems, which seemed too spare and disjoint to give me more than a vague sense of changing season and isolation. But there were a dozen other poems I read and reread with pleasure. My favourites included "Luna Moth" "The Minister's Bad Wayward Girl" "Self Portrait as a Seismograph" "the Widows of Pepacton Reservoir" "Beast-Lover Variations" and "A First Warning to the Eel Fisherman." The conjoined words in "Pillow with Boy and Fungus" were fabulous as were all the non-verbs used as verbs in "One Could Peach."
I'm looking forward to more.
there is no sensitivity in numbers.
only in effects. In the calm, let us speak
in effects: a ball drops
dragon's mouth to frog's mouth.
a pendulum swings on its knife-edge
Perhaps not even the best poem in this book!
A Ph.D. Fellow