Synopses & Reviews
Many of the poems in The Marriage in the Trees, Stanley Plumly's sixth book of poetry, concern the passing of the author's parents. They have the power of the deeply personal, and are clearly, in their wisdom and mastery of form and language, the work of a mature poet, one of our finest. Images of trees and birds dominate these poems. Birds—owls, doves, crows, and cardinals—whether remembered from childhood or spotted in a rain shower at Union Square, frequently inspire Plumly's lyrical meditations. They serve as symbols of the vitality at the abrupt edges of life. Trees—losing their leaves in the autumn, blooming in the spring, providing wood for both a home as well as a casket and cover from exposure—stand watch over these poems as they do over the life around us, symbols of permanence amid the transience of life. "They/link the past, medieval to modern/the leaves still dark in summer, bronze and butter through hundreds of falls and winters./They're what's left of a larger thing." Memory, history, and family are powerful presences here, the past infusing the present with questions and with meaning. The Marriage in the Trees advances Stanley Plumly's standing as one of our strongest and most accomplished lyric poets.
About the Author
Stanley Plumly was born in Barnesville, Ohio, in 1939, and grew up in the lumber and farming regions of Virginia and Ohio. His work has been honored with the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the Academy of Amerian Poets' Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is currently a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at the University of Maryland.