Peter Filkins is a poet who teaches writing and literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock. He is the author of What She Knew and After Homer as well as the chapbook Augustine's Vision. He has also translated the poetry and novels of Ingeborg Bachmann and the novels of H. G. Adler. (Author photo by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey)
In the pivotal poem "Marking Time," which appears almost exactly halfway through Peter Filkins's fourth collection of poetry, the speaker reflects on the death of a sibling and how time is marked by our memories. These memories, these moments—whether spent contemplating a painting by Vermeer or the simple toss of a bean bag—ultimately shape who we are. "Yet you are with me here, with me here again, / where neither that moon nor you exist, but live / tethered to this memory composed of words."
These are poems unafraid to be graceful and engaging. They attain an assurance and stability rare in contemporary poetry, while their careful balance of sadness and joy reminds the reader of the difficult negotiations we make in life.
"A deeply moving collection. Filkins traces out the rhythms of loss and renewal, of childhood and adulthood, in a blank verse so skillfully worked it seems effortless. Very few poets today write with such power and assurance."
"As one who hailed Peter Filkins's stunning first book, I am happy to say that its great promise has been realized with The View We're Granted."
"His subtle art touches the pulse of both sorrow and praise."
The Johns Hopkins University Press