Paperback / softback
April 6, 2021
9781421440088
English
104
6923
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
0.29 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD, £15.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 6, 2021
9781421440095
9781421440088
English
104
6923
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD, £15.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Water / Music

Exploring and delineating the space between nature and culture, the poems of Water / Music anchor themselves in the timely and the timeless. Rich and diverse in their formal intricacy, they move with ease from narrative to meditation, from close physical observation to the haunts of memory, and from lyric sorrow to the pleasure of living in the world.

The book's fifty-three poems are divided into five sections. Opening with a clear-eyed acknowledgment of present and historical suffering, the book takes readers on an interior journey through existential duress, then a celebration of art's ability to order and sustain. The fourth section features a rooted engagement with the natural world, while the fifth section returns to the joys and struggles of the quotidian.

Poems touch on the wartime background of Monet's Water Lilies, moonlight shining on a lake in summer, current anxieties seen through W. H. Auden's glasses, the oracular mystery of the natural world, the final tears of St. Augustine, the glow of narcissi forced in winter, the omen of climate change in spring's early arrival, and the "chalk-dry taste / of history" in the guise of an arrowhead. Water / Music, which includes a six-part elegy for Seamus Heaney, is fearless in its urge to trace "a lost world lost to bottomless translucency" and pose against it "patient mindful husbandry" that is "as real as veneration, / the smell of rain, the heft of stone." It embraces and celebrates life's mystery and the soul's repose amid "talismans at twilight, the whir of birds."

About the Author

Peter Filkins is the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Bard College at Simon's Rock and a visiting professor of literature at Bard College. He is the author of four other books of poems: What She Knew, After Homer, Augustine's Vision, and The View We're Granted, as well as numerous translations and a biography, H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds.

Endorsements

"In Water / Music, Peter Filkins fixes his gaze on what we make of nature, and what disinterested nature makes of us. Here we are: earthbound, fleeting, spiritual beings with our longings, silences, and aggressions. Here we are, also, as makers, and makers of history, with its 'chalk-dry taste,' no less than makers of the past, with its smell of hay and smoky turf lingering in our traffic-laden hours. These poems, precise and beautifully tuned, resonate with all the complexities of our times."

- Jane Brox, author of Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives

"Peter Filkins' lovely, searching poems address a multitude of subjects with a singular coherence of vision, probing deep into the realms of politics, art, and the natural world with the attentive intelligence and the joy in getting things right that together form the hallmark of a true poet. This is a collection built to last."

- James Lasdun, author of Bluestone: New and Selected Poems

"History—of the world, of language, of literature—is the subject of much of this fine book, but it is not the history of exclusivity or the spoils of winners, but of ideas, of feelings, of sensibilities that transcend the buying and selling of the material world and touch on the universal, the parts all of us must share and cherish. Peter Filkins engages with both the political and personal, the natural and the intellectual, and animating all of these marvelous poems is a keen moral sensibility that finds its home in rigorously made, sonorous, enduring poems."

- Mark Wunderlich, author of The Earth Avails
Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction
From 18

9781421440088 : water-music-filkins
Paperback / softback
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The View We're Granted

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