Description

Disquiet

John Witte

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  • $24.95 hardcover (9780295994512) Add to Cart
  • Published: March 2015
  • Subject Listing: Literature / Poetry
  • Bibliographic information: 88 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Pacific Northwest Poetry Series
  • Contents

Disquiet is a collection of poems that utilizes natural phenomena-a bright beach, a fallen tree limb, the weight of gravity-to evoke and reflect upon memory and human experience. The poems are structurally innovative, each shaped around a central axis as they trace the speaker's growth from childhood to adulthood. Acute observations resonate throughout the book as its focus shifts from the natural world to the world of the made-the grocery cart or pie-case or microscope-to the world of visual art, and then back. The poems are subtly braided together in a way reminiscent of the invisible bonds that unite snowflakes or cells.
Disquiet is John Witte's fourth book of poetry and his second book in the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and numerous anthologies. The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, he lives in Eugene, where he teaches at the University of Oregon.

"In John Witte's poems, the elements-air, water, earth, fire-are all in flux, all caught in the fierce beauty of their disquietude. Each poem exhorts us to see how much 'in love we are how brief / how fitfully burning.' Praise to this tongue stammering, scrambling, plunging to say its hellos, its goodbyes. What a wonderful, wondrous book Disquiet is."
-Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita and author of Understory, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"The sixty-seven lyric poems that comprise John Witte's Disquiet shed their beautiful lamplight on so many separate elements, beings and conditions, one can feel the loom of Neruda's Elemental Odes, and hear in them, exquisitely, the voices and footfalls of one's own life and the darkly marvelous lives of the imagination. This is an utterly distinctive volume, courageous, disquieting indeed, in its technical and emotional clarity, and in the amazing range of reference that includes us all. If you love poetry, you will love this book."
-Christopher Howell, author of Dreamless and Possible

Contents
I. ilk
Kinglet
Fledgling
His Kite
Paper Plane
The Me
Shiba Onko
Sarge
Phantom
Just This Train
Saturn
The Roach
Ornithology
Nest
Touching the Animal
Aubade
The Bumblebee
Mind Over Matter
Snails
Cicadas
Heirloom
Pie Case
Microscope
Wind

II. clay
Floaters
Going the Distance
It So
Then One Morning
Love and Life
Grocery Cart
Riddle
Cesium-137
Frogman
What Began
Seizure
Fireflies
At the War Memorial
Crossword
Oxblood
Gravity
The Will
Who Knew
The Widower
Grief
Pumice
Instead
When You Come to Lethe

III. kiln
Sonata
The Surgeon and the Poet
Scabsong
Apology to My Left Hand
Jesus and the Splinter
Lincoln
Leaving the Museum
After Yoshitoshi
Napoleon's Bath
Saint-Remy Asylum
O
Y
Ask
Burning the Book
Ginkgo
Vespers
Wrestling the Angel
The Spider
Butterfly

Acknowledgments
About the Author
Reviews