Catalogue


How the songs come down : new and selected poems /
Carter Revard
imprint
Great Wilbraham, Cambridge : Salt, 2005
description
160 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN
1844710645
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Great Wilbraham, Cambridge : Salt, 2005
isbn
1844710645
catalogue key
5847930
 
William Everson Endowment for Poetry and Fine Printing
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Skins as Old Testament Wonder who first slid in to use another creature's skin for staying warm blood-smeared heresy almost, Hunter becoming Deer, Shepherd the Lamb as in flamelit Dordogne caves or dim cathedrals crawling inside the deer's still-vivid presence there to take their lives from what had moved within, to eat delicious life then spread its likeness over a sleeping and breathing self, musk-wrapped inside the wind, the rain, the sleet to roll up in a seal-skin self beneath a mammoth heaven on which the sleet would rap and tap, to feel both feet grow warm even on ice or in the snow hand-chalicing new tallow flame as spirit of passing life and every time a tingling revelation when the life came back into a freezing hand or foot after the fur embraced its flesh, still deeper when human bodies coupling in a bear's dark fur found winter's warmth and then its child within the woman came alive.
First Chapter
Skins as Old Testament

Wonder who first slid in
to use another creature’s skin
for staying warm – blood-smeared
heresy almost, Hunter becoming
Deer, Shepherd the Lamb as in flamelit
Dordogne caves or dim cathedrals –
crawling inside the deer’s
still-vivid presence there
to take their lives from what had moved
within, to eat delicious life
then spread its likeness over a sleeping
and breathing self, musk-wrapped
inside the wind,
the rain,
the sleet –
to roll up in a seal-skin self beneath
a mammoth heaven
on which the sleet would rap and tap,
to feel both feet
grow warm even on ice
or in the snow – hand-chalicing
new tallow flame as spirit
of passing life
and every time a tingling
revelation when the life
came back into a freezing hand or foot
after the fur embraced its flesh, still deeper
when human bodies coupling in
a bear’s dark fur
found winter’s warmth and then
its child
within the woman
came alive.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Among contemporary American poets, Carter Revard is a giant, a rare and unique writer profoundly at home in Osage tribal history and culture, in traditional English poetry, and in the urban landscape of his own country.How the Songs Come Downseems an essential book for any poetry shelf, a richly regaling trove of astonishing lyric insights and unforgettable stories.
I haven't read all ofHow the Songs Come Down yet but I can say right now that what I've read is like talking and listening to Carter Revard face to face. Smiling big and nodding and laughing at the funny stuff, and frowning, too, at the hard parts. It's fine, fine poetry, of course, but they're stories too, you know, because we share them, and we learn from them for they sustain us and our land, culture, and community.
I haven't read all of How the Songs Come Down yet but I can say right now that what I've read is like talking and listening to Carter Revard face to face. Smiling big and nodding and laughing at the funny stuff, and frowning, too, at the hard parts. It's fine, fine poetry, of course, but they're stories too, you know, because we share them, and we learn from them for they sustain us and our land, culture, and community.
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Summaries
Main Description
Revard's poems are more like those of Seamus Heaney than those of Paul Muldoon more like Robert Frost than Wallace Stevens, more like Mark Twain than Henry James. They are true stories, some from time on the Osage Reservation during Dust Bowl days, some from the Isle of Skye in Hippie Time, others from Creation Time in Las Vegas with Trickster, at the Hotel Empire in Manhattan with Dante, under dragons flying over St. Louis, dodging bullets while stealing watermelons, listening to humpbacked whales and wine-throated hummingbirds in Bellagio, parading with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to publicize some powwow in the old Indian-fighter headquarters at Jefferson Barracks on the Mississippi, sitting with Ponca cousins in a bar and hoping not to get shot after the occupation of Wounded Knee. The reason for every poem in this marvellous selection is to invite readers into its personal, familial, communal space to feast with the Ponca people and Revard on whatever they have on the table. These poems are all for having some kind of good time together, and the more the merrier.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Notes
Index of First Lines
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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