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In the Kingdom of the Ditch Paperback – June 1, 2013
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“Nouns and verbs have dreams and shadows, as well as their own irreducible essence, and they spill here from the hands of a master. These poems are constructed of a hard and durable majesty that possesses the deepest and most notable sentiments while slipping free always of the damning residue of sentimentality. To say that there is wisdom and beauty in these poems is like saying that fire is hot or that food, or love, is good. On every page, In the Kingdom of the Ditch reminds us that life amazes.”
—Rick Bass, author of The Lives of Rocks and The Wild Marsh
“Todd Davis, in his new collection of stunning poems, marries the ordinary names of things to their extraordinary enigma. His acts of taxonomy lead not only to knowledge of this world but as well to gnosis of that other ineffable realm we might call the sacred. His poems see into the mystical and their song reaches toward the visionary, which is to say he is a lyric poet of breathtaking brilliance.”
—Eric Pankey, author of Reliquaries and The Pear as One Example
“These are intimately and precisely noted poems that examine the interdependent relationships among the inhabitants of the natural world—ourselves included. We humans are the ones who not only eat blackberries but revel in them; who sense the ghost of God in natural solitudes; who mourn our dead, taking the losses personally. By turns elegiac or celebratory, these poems are constructed from honest encounters within selfnature and the one body of the world.”
—Margaret Gibson, author of One Body and Second Nature
“Reading Todd Davis’s gorgeous poems, you can’t help but feel that the capacities of human vision, and also our appetite for exactly this way of seeing and naming, have been mysteriously, precisely increased.”
—Jane Hirshfield, author of After and Come, Thief
About the Author
Todd Davis is the author of five full-length collections of poetry. He teaches environmental studies, creative writing, and American literature at Pennsylvania State University’s Altoona College.
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The ending poems, one after another, were just such powerhouses. Perigee, Deposition, the Poet Stumbles Upon a Buddha, and other poems just took me on so many wonderful journeys out of the house, out of the book, and into the wild world that surrounds us.
My favorite poems are the poems that inspire me to write in the quiet morning hours. And when I flip through my copy of In the Kingdom of the Ditch, I find scribbled poems in the margins. Davis inspires us to see our world in new ways. And his poems inspire me to write.