Work and Days

Red Hen. Apr. 2016. 72p. ISBN 9781597097321. pap. $11.95. POETRY
As winner of an Amy Clampitt Fellowship, Taylor (The Forage House) spent a year living rent-free in a Berkshires cottage to pursue her writing. She refreshed herself by volunteering on a nearby farm, and here she chronicles the cycle of work ("we bow into the rows that winter tore") that drew her so close to the earth. Even as she makes us acutely aware of the obdurate thereness of nature ("mulching garlic: muck is heavy"), we feel her muscles singing. Tellingly, Taylor weaves in references to the nature poetry of the great classic poets while also making parallels to the human body and the larger world ("You try to dislodge faulty friendship, miscarriage:/ in the distance, war drones.")
VERDICT In-the-field poetry many readers will enjoy.
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