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Jubilant Thicket

01/07/2010

Jonathan Williams is a poet that I just recently was introduced to through reading Guy Davenport’s work. I will say that I am not one to buy books of poetry on a whim…not usually. But something about the way that Guy Davenport described Williams’ writing was so compelling, I couldn’t resist. Today my copy of Jubilant Thicket arrived and I am thrilled.  I was struck by the cover image which I believe is a photograph by Harry Callahan. It is black and white image of what appears to be an array of dead branches from a bush. In the High Sierra this summer we came across a stunningly similar array. Take a look at the two photos here. So I cracked the cover and saw that the dedication in the book was a simple and stark two word offering: To Tom! Whoa. Ok, JW, you’ve got my attention.  After the kids were in bed I cracked it open and read the introduction that Williams wrote to the collection. “The poet has tried hard to put the right words in the proper places. And to open up some of the territory ahead. Put on your walking shoes and let me take you to a lot of new places. Cheers!”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 01/10/2010 3:19 am

    The fact that anybody sits down deliberately to read poetry anymore is a poetic act – happy to hear that I’m not alone. It’s perhaps a little sexy, in fact, like hearing of somebody who makes his or her own ice cream. Some part of me always wants to marry somebody so capable of something so arcane and sweetly indulgent and, I don’t know, ruggedly unique and expert. And speaking of poetry, here’s a poem by Donald Hall that I’ve had taped up on my wall for 10 years. It’s called Summer Kitchen.

    In June’s high light she stood at the sink
    With a glass of wine
    And listened for the bobolink
    And crushed garlic in late sunshine.

    I watched her cooking, from my chair.
    She pressed her lips
    Together, reached for kitchenware,
    And tasted sauce from fingertips.

    “It’s ready now. Come on,” she said.
    “You light the candle”
    We ate, and talked, and went to bed,
    And slept. It was a miracle.

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