Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday: Mark Strand's "Poem After the Seven Last Words" (Canto One)

“Poem After the Seven Last Words,” which fills the final section of the three parts in Mark Strand’s 2006 collection of poems, Man and Camel, presents a sequence in seven cantos, each segment containing a lovely stanza concerning Christ’s crucifixion, all filled with lyrical and meditative language. The piece originally was commissioned by the Brentano String Quartet and written to accompany a performance of Haydn’s quartet opus 51. Last year on Good Friday, I offered an article introducing the sequence and displaying the dramatic sixth section, in which the poet writes of Christ’s death: “’It is finished,’ he said into a vastness / that led to an even greater vastness, and yet all of it / within him. He contained it all . . ..”

Today, I return to that powerful poem with a look at the thoughtful and evocative opening canto:

The story of the end, of the last word
of the end, when told, is a story that never ends.
We tell it and retell it—one word, then another
until it seems that no last word is possible,
that none would be bearable. Thus, when the hero
of the story says to himself, as to someone far away,
“Forgive them, for they know not what they do,”
we may feel that he is pleading for us, that we are
the secret life of the story and, as long as his plea
is not answered, we shall be spared. So the story
continues. So we continue. And the end, once more,
becomes the next, and the next after that.

Readers are encouraged to consider the previous commentary about “Poem After the Seven Last Words” on “One Poet’s Notes.” In addition, I invite readers to examine my review of Man and Camel. To view a number of other articles at “One Poet’s Notes” regarding the poetry of Mark Strand, please use the “search blog” box above.

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