Dwelling Song

Poems by Sally Keith

Winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition

Reviews

"'I'm almost opened,' say the final lines of Dwelling Song, 'and / the color is about to come out.' Keith hides in broad daylight, and she becomes herself by changing constantly into something else. Smart, visceral, poised, reckless—these poems are content with discontent, at home when most at sea; their syntax turns wildly toward each new revelation. 'What I first said was not enough,' says Keith. Dwelling Song will leave you famished, hungry for more."
—James Longenbach, author of Fleet River

"Full of sharp, tight perceptions and even sharper, tighter sounds, Keith's second collection manages to embrace both the quotidian and the timeless at once. From their fusion, she fashions a vibrant immanence; this is poetry that takes place on the page right before your eyes. Lyrical yet mathematical, at times unnerving yet always compelling, these poems never stop opening up new territory."
—Cole Swensen, author of Such Rich Hour


"'How many ways am I missing?' asks the speaker of one of Keith's moving poems—poems that dwell on the problem of having inherited spiritual burdens without reliable spiritual means; poems that seek a dwelling place in the remnants of lyric address. Keith's work struggles on behalf of the reader, and on our behalf it roams across sites of pained encounter. And it refuses not to sing."
—Mark Levine, author of Enola Gay

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Description
As a hummingbird beats its wings so that it might be still to feed on a flower the poet concludes, “The equation keeps balancing out, and / I’m drawn to how it does not settle.” Aware of the difficulty of loving the world while feeding upon it, the poems of Dwelling Song hope vision is levity as they press language to make sight and song. This writing is a form of mimicry yet an act of dangerous flight. Whether from the voice of a hunter, shepherd, farmer, or bugle-blowing boy on a city street, the song recognizes that moving forward necessitates turning one’s back.
Page count: 80 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

 



Paper
List price: $19.95
978-0-8203-2599-6
3/8/2004

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Sally Keith attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book, Design, won the Colorado Prize for Poetry in 2000.