The Quick of It Poems


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Graywolf Press


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155597418X

9781555974183

72 Pages

$14.00

CAD16.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
The poems in Eamon Grennan's The Quick of It—each one without a title, each one compacted into ten taut lines—are rendered with exquisite detail and reverence for the everyday elements of weather, landscape, family, art, and questioning. Grennan's poems are persistent, amplified acts of attention, proving with every detail—light glancing off stone, an orange stem framing a Chardin still life, the contours of the body trapping the mind—that we are our best selves when we are most alert.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Quick of It

"Grennan’s writing brings us over and over again to the discovery of what is naturally so and had passed unrecognized."—W. S. Merwin

"Grennan is in love with language the way a poet should be. I read him with care—and admiration."—Gerald Stern

"Composed of untitled 10-line poems, Grennan's sixth collection gets down less to brass tacks than to elementals: 'So this is what it comes down to? Earth and sand / Skimmed, trimmed, filletted from rocky bone . . . protestant / To the pin of its terminal collar.' Birds make regular appearances, not only as symbols of flight and freedom, but also of mortality: 'Still I can smell / The dead—till darkwings open wide and rise, cutting things off.' While Grennan indisputably writes a conventional lyric of man's insignificance in the face of nature, he is rescued from neoromanticism—and from the label of 'nature poet'—by a kind of unswerving pessimism. The subjects of these tightly composed poems shift—art, domesticity, cows in a field, tulips, insomnia—but they convey the same message, over and over: the need to reconcile oneself to the fact that we are only visitors to this world: 'Up to its belly in snow, the cat watches some bird or famished mouse / Make its own cold life minutely happen' . . . [This book's] tones are lovely and clear."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Eamon Grennan is a poet, translator, and essayist. He is the author of Relations: New & Selected Poems and Still Life with Waterfall. He splits his time between Poughkeepsie, New York, and Ireland.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Eamon Grennan is a poet, translator, and essayist. He is also the author of Relations: New & Selected Poems and Still Life with Waterfall. Grennan splits his time between Poughkeepsie, New York, and Ireland.
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