Sunday, June 30, 2013

Poetry Highlight: Waxwings by Daniel Nathan Terry

Cover by Benjamin Billingsley
"Icarus 1"
(acrylic on canvas, 16x20, 1996)
"Waxwings is a book that takes observation, meditation, and memory as seriously as men and women take life and death. These elegiac lyrics show that Daniel Nathan Terry is unafraid of putting his experiences to use in the making of poems that ache after transcendence and long for revelation." -- Jericho Brown, author of Please
"Observation, meditation, and memory, as seriously as men and women take life and death." What a magnificent way of saying what I found in this book. In WaxwingsDaniel Nathan Terry lets it all hang out through his poetry. He connects with the reader as his experiences are revealed with deep emotions, truth, and underlying passion that come through each individual poem.

Terry is a former horticulturist. His passion for nature lights up the pages as he explores heartbreaking and at times heartwarming childhood memories, sexual discovery, loss, and love through poetry. I read Waxwings twice in one sitting, and then once again for good measure.
Scarecrow*

Scarecrow crafter, burlap-tailor,
black-eye smudger, when I'm done,
crows mistake you for a man:
silent shooer, stock-still farmer,
to them alone a tartan terror.
I fisted through your flannel,
spiced your straw with artemisia,
puffed your chest with wilted-rue,
perfumed your thighs with summer sweet---
another half-attempt at love---to keep
the flies from you, who do not care
if you are flesh or straw; stand still in June,
they will devour you. If they don't and you see
the summer through, the sun, the wind, the rain
make fast work of you until your pie-pan hands
cease to flutter and the crows
begin to mutter that you can't be much.
Winter comes. Now the squash begins
to earn its name; cold snaps beans.
Like tomatoes that turn from green to glass
my red for you is missing.
How long before the snow and I
take you down?
❧❧❧❧❧❧

About the author: Daniel Nathan Terry, a former landscaper and horticulturist, is the author of Capturing the Dead, (NFSPS 2008) which won the Stevens Prize, and a chapbook, Days of Dark Miracles (Seven Kitchens Press 2011). He teaches English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and serves on the advisory board of One Pause Poetry.

Category: Poetry
Length: 68 Pages
Publisher/Release Date: Lethe Press/July 1, 2012

*Copyright © 2012 Daniel Nathan Terry

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