National Book Award for poetry to Keith Waldrop

KeithLast night the National Book Award for poetry  went to:

Keith Waldrop

Transcendental Studies

A Trilogy

published by the University of California Press. Details here. Félicitations, Keith! Here, the opening three poems of the first sequence, Shipwreck in Haven:

Balancing. Austere. Life-
less. I have tried to keep
context from claiming you.

Without doors. And there are
windows. How far, how
far into the desert have we come?

Rude instruments, product
of my garden. Might also be
different, what I am thinking of.

So you see: it is
not symmetrical, dark
red out of the snow.

Enemies for therapy, the
rind of the lime tree
in elaborate garlands.

Strew the table. Let the hall
be garlanded and lit, the will
to break away. Welcome your couches.

Witness these details. Your judgment, my
inclination. Hear. Touch. Taste.
Translate. Fixed: the river.

Disquieting thought, I am not
ultimate, full moon, memory.
Prepare for rout.

Here, even, in the
sand. Among the rocks, I have
heard, remnant of a cloud.

Unfleshed, short, thin, pointed.
Independent of you, a
revelation. A great city.

Flatly unknown, you do not
know of yourself, do not know
yourself, not stuck full of nails.

Under such illumination, darkness
becomes terror. Under this high
wall, dark ground.

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1 Response

  1. Gregory Wilson says:

    pointing to the
    of a remnant of a cloud
    my auditory perspective shifts
    and vision diffuse.

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