Synopses & Reviews
A powerful new collection from an award-winning poet Robert Wrigley has become one of his generation's most accomplished poets, renowned for his irony, power, and lucid style and for his ability to fuse narrative and lyrical impulses. Like its namesake—Robert Burton's seventeenth-century examination of human thoughts and emotions—Wrigley's new collection means to examine our world through the lens of melancholia. From imagined war memorials to insomniac chickens; from Descartes' lost daughter to a dreaming tree; from King Kong to Rush Limbaugh; and from Anna Karenina to a man named Lucy Doolin (short for Lucifer), these are poems that elegize and celebrate that most beautiful, exasperating, joyous, miserable, and perfectly imperfect of all creatures—the human being.
"Wrigley (Lives of the Animals, 2003) has been offering up well-crafted, articulate and largely autobiographical free verse since the 1970s, often reflecting his Great Plains roots or his longtime residence among the woods of northern Idaho. This ample career-spanning selection shows how little the essence of his carefully wrought poems appears to have changed: the notion that 'the body's one life, constant, expansive, simultaneous' informs all his observations and invocations, cast, often, into sinuously subordinated, easy-to-follow sentences. Wrigley's personality remains a granite constant even as his attention wanders from the distant past to the near future, from his parents to cottonmouth snakes, from a confident mare in spring to a 'Sad Moose': 'Each day for a week I've watched him,/ the ribs defined into claws.' Wrigley's quiet respect for nonhuman nature and his consistent interest in the meaning of sex, paternity and literary inheritance unify his detailed and trustworthy, if rarely pyrotechnic, work, in which 'Living is a slow dance you know/ you're dreaming, but the chill at your neck/ is real.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
His honest musical language lifts real experience daily into art. (Billy Collins)
One of his generation's most accomplished poets, Robert Wrigley is renowned for his ironic, powerful, and lucid style as well as his ability to fuse narrative and lyrical impulses. Earthly Meditations
features nineteen original poems alongside a collection of sixty-one poems chosen from his first six books.
About the Author
Robert Wrigley is the author of eight collections of poetry, including In the Bank of Beautiful Sins, a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize; Reign of Snakes, winner of the 2000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Lives of the Animals, winner of the 2004 Poet's Prize; and, most recently, Beautiful Country. He teaches at the University of Idaho and lives with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes, near Moscow, Idaho.