Field in Spring

Susan Stewart

Your eye moving

left to right acrossthe plowed lineslooking to touch downon the firstshoots coming uplike a friezefrom the dark wherepale rootsand wood lice gorgeon mold.Red haze atopthe far trees.A two dot, thena ten dotladybug. Withinthe wind, a per-pendicular breeze.Hold a mirror, horizontal,to the rain. Nowthe blurred repetitionof ruled lines, the faintgreen, quickening,the doubled tears.Wake up.The wind is not for seeing,neither is the firstsong, soon half-way gone,and the figures,the figures are not waiting.To see what isin motion you must move.

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Susan Stewart is the author of five previous books of poetry, including Columbarium, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and MacArthur Fellow, she teaches at Princeton University.

Cinder: New and Selected Poems gathers poetry from across Susan Stewart’s career, including many extraordinary new poems. From brief songs to longer meditative sequences, and always with formal innovation and exquisite precision, Stewart evokes the innocence of childhood, the endangered mysteries of the natural world, and deeply felt perceptions, both acute and shared…. Reading across this retrospective collection is a singular experience of seeing the unfolding development of one of the most ingenious and moving lyric writers in contemporary poetry.

“Cinder brings together the best writing from this singular poet, who masterfully explores the intersection of language, the external world, and human consciousness…. Always she demonstrates the richness and fluidity of thought.”
The Washington Post

“Stewart writes the kind of poem, virtuosic and illuminating, that goes on giving warmth and light long after the proverbial switch has been flipped off.”
The American Poetry Review

“Susan Stewart’s achievement, in a career spanning almost forty years and showcased in Cinder: New and Selected Poems, is remarkable… Her aim has always been to uncover the hidden narrative buried beneath the narrative of the everyday. What Stewart accomplishes is nothing less than the reenchantment of the world.”
—John Koethe

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