Disquiet

Hardcover | February 13, 2015

byJohn C. Witte

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Disquiet is a collection of poems that utilizes natural phenomena—a bright beach, a fallen tree limb, the weight of gravity—to evoke and reflect upon memory and human experience. The poems are structurally innovative, each shaped around a central axis as they trace the speaker’s growth from childhood to adulthood. Acute observations resonate throughout the book as its focus shifts from the natural world to the world of the made—the grocery cart or pie-case or microscope—to the world of visual art, and then back. The poems are subtly braided together in a way reminiscent of the invisible bonds that unite snowflakes or cells.

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Disquiet is a collection of poems that utilizes natural phenomena—a bright beach, a fallen tree limb, the weight of gravity—to evoke and reflect upon memory and human experience. The poems are structurally innovative, each shaped around a central axis as they trace the speaker’s growth from childhood to adulthood. Acute observations r...

Disquiet is John Witte’s fourth book of poetry and his second book in the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and numerous anthologies. The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, he lives in Eugene, where he teaches at the Uni...

other books by John C. Witte

Second Nature: Poems
Second Nature: Poems

Paperback|Feb 7 2013

$18.95

Format:HardcoverDimensions:88 pages, 9.25 × 6.24 × 0.5 inPublished:February 13, 2015Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295994517

ISBN - 13:9780295994512

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From the Author

The poems collected in Disquiet observe the wonder as well as the uncertainty of our lives. We find ourselves in nature, among the animals, in poems that are organic in form, suggesting the shapes of leaves and crystals, and the symmetry of our bodies. Yet the voice halts and stammers. We long to embrace our humanity, yet find ourselves both drawn to, and estranged from, the natural world. In poems of childhood and family and inevitable loss, we celebrate the joys and suffer the hardships of life.

Table of Contents

I. ilkKingletFledglingHis KitePaper PlaneThe Me Shiba OnkoSargePhantomJust This TrainSaturnThe RoachOrnithology NestTouching the AnimalAubadeThe BumblebeeMind Over MatterSnailsCicadasHeirloomPie CaseMicroscopeWind

II. clayFloatersGoing the DistanceIt SoThen One MorningLove and LifeGrocery CartRiddleCesium-137FrogmanWhat BeganSeizureFirefliesAt the War MemorialCrosswordOxbloodGravity The WillWho KnewThe WidowerGriefPumiceInsteadWhen You Come to Lethe

III. kilnSonataThe Surgeon and the PoetScabsongApology to My Left HandJesus and the SplinterLincolnLeaving the MuseumAfter YoshitoshiNapoleon’s BathSaint-Remy AsylumOYAskBurning the BookGinkgoVespersWrestling the AngelThe SpiderButterfly

Acknowledgments About the Author

Editorial Reviews

In John Witte’s poems, the elements—air, water, earth, fire—are all in flux, all caught in the fierce beauty of their disquietude. Each poem exhorts us to see how much ‘in love we are how brief / how fitfully burning.’ Praise to this tongue stammering, scrambling, plunging to say its hellos, its goodbyes. What a wonderful, wondrous book Disquiet is. - Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita and author of Understory