Last Lake

Paperback | October 10, 2016

byReginald Gibbons

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From Ritual
 
A slow parade of old west enthusiasts,
camp song and hymn, came in along the winding
 
way where rural declined to suburban, slow
riders and wagoners passing a cow staked
 
to graze, some penned cattle looking vacantly
up—not in vacant lots the ancient icons
 
of wealth they had been in odes, prayers and epics,
in sacrifices and customs of bride-price
 
or dowry.  (It’s good people no longer make
blood sacrifices, at gas stations and stores,
 
for example, and in the crunching gravel
parking lots of small churches—oh but we do.)

“The evening forgives the alleyway,” Reginald Gibbons writes in his tenth book of poems—but such startling simplicities are overwhelmed in us by the everyday and the epochal. Across the great range of Gibbons’s emblematic, vividly presented scenes, his language looks hard at and into experience and feeling. Words themselves have ideas, and have eyes—inwardly looking down through their own meanings, as the poet considers a lake in the Canadian north, a Chicago neighborhood, a horse caravan in Texas, a church choir, a bookshelf, or an archeological dig on the steppes near the Volga River. The last lake is the place of both awe and elegy.

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From Ritual   A slow parade of old west enthusiasts, camp song and hymn, came in along the winding   way where rural declined to suburban, slow riders and wagoners passing a cow staked   to graze, some penned cattle looking vacantly up—not in vacant lots the ancient icons   of wealth they had been in odes, prayers and epics, in sacrifi...

Reginald Gibbons is a Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University. His poetry collections include National Book Award finalist Creatures of a Day and Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by Reginald Gibbons

How Poems Think
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The House of Breath
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Antigone
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see all books by Reginald Gibbons
Format:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:October 10, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022641745X

ISBN - 13:9780226417455

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
ONE
A Neighborhood in Chicago
Memorial Day
Belief
Last Lake
Canasta
On Self and Soul
     1. The night’s a metonym
     2. A ploughman leans his everything
     3. (Bright Candlelight)
     4. The question isn’t whether we should be
     5. The plenitude of what is is the diet of the mind
     6. “Soul,” the word, is ancient (from Old English)
     7. Livingness itself, neither bad nor benign
Ritual
A Bookshelf
Divergence
A Veteran
TWO
Dark Honey
     1. In the rainy sub-
     2. I remember that
     3. Gods never were. And
     4. In seaside autumn
     5. Beside the railway
     6. The skull has evolved
     7. (I sense by its im-
     8. The cranium dome
     9. Poor old page-earth—sized
     10. Mandelshtam’s Greek bees
     11. Even on remote
     12. This craft of the ear’s
     13. Rivers of gasping
     14. (But . . .)
     15. It’s so wisely that
     16. To the futile sound
     17. (O. M.)
     18. Can’t keep up with fierce
     19. (Persephone)
     20. Against the paper-
     21. The memory of
     22. Well, good-bye! Wishing
     23. In dusk-lit ways, spell
     24. “For your sweet joy, take
     Note

Editorial Reviews

“Gibbons brings a sharp, stereoscopic vision to the landscapes and situations he evokes as he is at once vitally attentive to the present and acutely aware of the weight of history. . . . These are supple, reflective, and striking works of conscience in which scholarship is matched by sensuousness, and gravitas is balanced by irreverence and wit.”