Clayfeld Holds On

Paperback | October 16, 2015

byRobert Pack

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from “Clayfeld’s Farewell Epistle to Bob Pack”
 
            Beneath this mellow harvest moon,
I can still picture you—a boy content
just fishing with his father from a ledge
above a foaming stream. The flailing trout
you caught is packed in gleaming ice;
the pink stripe all along its side
is smeared across black shiny dots
that seem to shine with their own light.
            I’m sure that you can picture me
with equal vividness, and though we’re not
identical, there is a sense
in which I am inventing you
as much as you’re inventing me.
 
In Clayfeld Holds On, Robert Pack offers his readers a comprehensive portrait of his longtime protagonist Clayfeld, who is also Pack’s doppelgänger, his alternate self, enacting both the life that the poet has lived and the life he might have lived, given his proclivities and appetites. Poet and protagonist, taken together, are self and consciousness of self, the historical self and the embellished story of that literal self.
            Written with a masterly ear for rhythm, and interweaving narrative and lyrical passages, the poems recount Clayfeld’s formative memories while exploring concepts such as loyalty, generosity, commitment, as well as cosmic phenomena such as the big bang theory and black holes. Through all of this, Pack attempts to find purpose and meaning in an indifferent universe, and to explore the labyrinth of his own proliferating identity.

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from “Clayfeld’s Farewell Epistle to Bob Pack”               Beneath this mellow harvest moon, I can still picture you—a boy content just fishing with his father from a ledge above a foaming stream. The flailing trout you caught is packed in gleaming ice; the pink stripe all along its side is smeared across black shiny dots that seem t...

Robert Pack is the Abernethy Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Emeritus at Middlebury College and Distinguished Senior Professor Emeritus of Humanities in the Honors College of the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the author of five prose works and nineteen previous books of poems, most recently Laughter before Sleep, ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:October 16, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022630342X

ISBN - 13:9780226303420

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Table of Contents

Bob Pack’s lnvocation to Clayfeld
Clayfeld’s Encounter by the Sea
Clayfeld Encompasses a Paradox
Clayfeld Beholds a Miracle
Clayfeld Attends a Seder
Clayfeld Admonishes the Bard
Clayfeld Defines Sublimity
Clayfeld Goes Birding
A Blue Heron Appears to Clayfeld
Clayfeld’s Kidney
Clayfeld Observes a Herd of Elk
Clayfeld Organizes His Jokes
Confronting Clayfeld
Clayfeld among the Fireflies
Clayfeld Takes Flight
Clayfeld Listens to the Aspens
Paean for a Turtle
Clayfeld Encircled
Clayfeld Unresolved
Clayfeld’s Vampire Fantasy
Clayfeld on Jury Duty
Clayfeld Throws His Hat into the Ring
Clayfeld’s Reversal
Clayfeld Reading by the Fire
Clayfeld Grieves for Annie
Clayfeld’s Inheritance
Clayfeld Addresses His Father
Drifting and Gliding
Clayfeld’s Interpretation
Clayfeld Thinks about Women
Clayfeld’s Pride
Clayfeld Bedeviled
Clayfeld’s “Cogito”
Clayfeld’s Inspiration
Clayfeld Contends with Entropy
Star-Crossed Clayfeld
Clayfeld in the Rain
Clayfeld’s Injury
Humming in the Air
Clayfeld Embellishes a Willow Tree
Clayfeld’s Farewell Epistle to Bob Pack
Epilogue: Swan River in October
Epilogue: Abundance

Editorial Reviews

"There are great pleasures in reading Robert Pack’s Clayfeld Holds On. Pack's new collection of poems is a culminating achievement by this deeply serious and at the same time irrepressibly playful writer."