Synopses & Reviews
“Her poems startle us over and over with their shapeliness, their humor, their youthfulness, their wild aptness, their strangeness, their sudden familiarity, the authority of their insights, the moral gulps they prompt, their fierce exactness of language and memory.”—Galway Kinnell on presenting the Wallace Stevens Award
“In the Next Galaxy gives us the unflinching vision of a woman well into her ’80s, fully inhabiting body and mind.”—National Book Award Judges’ statement
“Compassionate, comic, feminist and horrified by injustice, Stone’s poems are composed with an accessible deftness.”—The Oregonian
Ruth Stone has earned nearly every major literary award for her poetry. She taught at many universities, finally settling at SUNY Binghamton. Today she lives in Vermont.
“Mother, father, brother, sister, husband, daughter, son populate this book. But these relationships, past or present, are not static. As they move in time and place—Montana, Idaho, Manhattan, Alaska—the poems map an inner geography, spaces of loss and acceptance, memory and survival. They are stepping stones through a life only as ordinary as the truth of art. Martins poems belie their artfulness almost with the ease of conversation; they ask for little but give much. Few poets can trace an itinerary of the heart with such distinctive grace and clarity.”
“These are poems of a humane poet who has made communion with our great ancient stories: when she sweeps away loss, she discovers wonder, when she wipes away tears, she discovers play, and when she faces difficult deaths, she reminds us that we all must face our lives even when they skim 'lightly on the tide, white, fine as baby hair.' This is a splendid book of fire and desire."
"Martin’s I Follow in the Dust She Raises is the kind of poetry that invites the word luminous, so impoverished by overuse it can no longer light the inside of a bulb, much less invoke noonday. Too many blurbs have been attached to a series of lesser books that make the mistake of working nature by subtraction—assuming that an endless wheat field with a tractor in it under an immense Nebraska sky—offer a limned absence that by itself could bring us to metaphysical tears. . . . To simple but potent effect, Martin starts from zero and works by addition.”
“Martin’s work will take you on one woman’s lifelong journey in pursuit of that intangible goal: to be content, a theme that her work so beautifully embodies. Perhaps if you faithfully journey through these pages with her, by the end, you will realize that you have found that same thing as well.”
National Book Award Winner in Poetry, Stone startles readers with the fierce emotional power of an elder woman fully inhabiting body and mind.
Poetry. In this, her eighth collection of poems, Stone writes with a crackling intelligence from the vantage point of an aging and impoverished woman. Wise, sardonic, crafty, and misleadingly simple, Stone loves heavy themes but not heavy poems. She brings to her poems a passion for knowing how the world works, whether through science, politics, the erotic, or history. "Her poems startle us over and over with their shapeliness, their humor, their youthfulness, their wild aptness, their strangeness, their sudden familiarity, the authority of their insights, the moral gulps they prompt, their fierce exactness of language and memory"--Galway Kinnell.
Winner: National Book Award and Wallace Stevens Award. "A marvelous tribute to love and survival."--The New York Times
I Follow in the Dust She Raises is a collection of deeply personal poems born from a life sharply observed. Martin takes readers from the mountains of the West to the shores of Alaska, as she delves into the rippling depth of childhood experiences, tracks the moments that change a life, and settles into the fine grooves of age. Exploring the ties of family and grief, Martins unflinching poetry ripples with moments of extraordinary beauty plucked from what seem like ordinary lives.
About the Author
Ruth Stone (born June 8, 1915, in Roanoke, Virginia) is an American poet. She is the author of thirteen books of poetry. She is the recipient of many awards and honors. In 1959, after her husband committed suicide, she was forced to raise three daughters alone. (As she has pointed out, her poems are "love poems, all written to a dead man" who forced her to "reside in limbo" with her daughters.) For twenty years she traveled the US, teaching creative writing at many universities, including the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, University of California Davis, Brandeis, and finally settling at State University of New York Binghamton. Today, Stone lives in Vermont.
Table of Contents
I. Running through Shadows
Visiting the Cemetery in Plains, Minnesota
A Sumptuous Destitution
Running through Shadows
Dancing with Mama
A Visit from Aunt Rosie
A Young Child
II. History Lesson
Watching Mama’s Figure
Refusing a Man
Losing a Man
Pigeons in Montpelier
Mama Calls Herself Weary
III. After Years
At Home Now in Homer
After Years of Searching
Once Upon a Time
Building a Boat
Boy, Still Visible
Shopping for Satisfaction
Proof of Joy
IV. Contemplating Autumn
Acting My Age
Slow Day at the Glass Shop
Harboring a Mean Streak
When I Brought You Home to Mama