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Companion Grasses
by Brian Teare


Overview - What does it mean to dwell in a place? These adventurous poems go on foot in search of answers. Walking the cities, coasts, forests and mountains of Northern California and New England, they immerse themselves in the specifics of bioregion and microclimate, and take special note of the cycle of death and rebirth that plays out dramatically in California's chaparral and grasslands.  Read more...

 
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More About Companion Grasses by Brian Teare
 
 
 
Overview
What does it mean to dwell in a place? These adventurous poems go on foot in search of answers. Walking the cities, coasts, forests and mountains of Northern California and New England, they immerse themselves in the specifics of bioregion and microclimate, and take special note of the cycle of death and rebirth that plays out dramatically in California's chaparral and grasslands. Inspired by Transcendentalism, Companion Grasses sees the sacred in the workings of the material world, but its indebtedness to the ecological tradition of California poets like Gary Snyder and Brenda Hillman means that it also unearths such evidence in the sensual materiality of words themselves. Both ecologically rich landscapes and highly rhythmic inscapes, these poems set seasonal and human dramas side-by-side, wresting an original, signature music from the meeting of site and sight. In pursuing an aesthetics situated in place, they compose an ethics of what it means to be a human companion to the natural world: "What we love, how we care for it, /is where we live."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781890650797
  • ISBN-10: 189065079X
  • Publisher: Omnidawn
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 112
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General
Books > Poetry > LGBT
Books > Poetry > Subjects & Themes - Nature

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-03-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

Teare’s fourth collection considers what it means to inhabit and observe landscapes, both external and internal. Landscape begins as physical terrain, in particular, that of Northern California, with the poet walking and seeing. The observer and the natural world exert force on each other: “there where scale outpaces/ the eyelichen a line to horizon/ stem to tide a dilation /in which seeing is thinking/ to find a way a language/ to where the human fails.” Through his characteristic attention to sound, music, and form, Teare’s vocabulary becomes a landscape unto itself, language “a stem to aspire to.” As the poems begin to include more direct engagement with other thinkers and artists, an intellectual landscape populated by quotation and philosophical inheritance emerges, most notably in a set of agile, nontraditional sonnets, “Transcendental Grammar Crown.” The collection closes with two long elegies, still lyrical but introducing a more discursive side to Teare’s work. Here, the influences of ecology, philosophy, love, and loss most clearly coalesce. As he writes in the exquisite “To begin with desire,” an elegy for Teare’s father, “So much of our seeing/ lies in forgetting the laws// of the fathers, the ones/ we were given, & the ones// we choose, as though we look// always at landscape first/ through their eyes.” (Apr.)

 
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