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These are mature poems, meditative, curious about the world of wild mountains and streams, about death and blessing, about the resonant past that is with us yet. And they are about a kind of stillness that has become rare in modern life, the stillness of a man who actually inhabits his senses.
- Published: 2013
- Subject Listing: Literary Studies
- Bibliographic information: 80 pp., 6 x 8.50 in.
- Distributed for: Lynx House Press
from "Some Guardian Spirit"
Freezing fog, visibility maybe a hundred yards.
Frost builds up on the pine needles,
the yellow grass, the leafless cottonwoods
and the sound of hammers, saws,
a compressor kicking on and off
in that other world somewhere across
the pasture. Not a bird or a squirrel or a horse
in sight. A rooster and a lone dog
send their voices out into the fog that seems
to be closing in, growing denser, a cloud
barge drifting down the valley spiriting us away.
Greg Pape has published eight books of poems. For is work he has received a Discover/The Nation Award, a Pushcart Prize, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives with his family in the Bitterroot Valley and teaches literature and writing at the University of Montana.
"I have been a fan of Greg Pape's poetry at least since 1978, when his first book Border Crossings appeared-clarity, concision, a deep yet accessible human subject were its hallmarks. In Four Swans, those virtues are doubled in a subtle and fully mature voice. Candid, modest, yet confident, a delicate almost spiritual attention is paid to his surroundings and the birds and animals with whom we share the planet. Four Swans confronts mortality by enunciating the muted and emblematic transformations that most of us would miss were it not for such keen sensibilities as Pape's. James Wright, Richard Hugo, and the great Chinese poets sit over his shoulder as he connects us to the luminous actual world in which we live and die."
-Christopher Buckley, Christopher Buckley