The Burning Fields: Poems

David Middleton, Author
David Middleton, Author Louisiana State University Press $14.95 (60p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1638-8
Paperback - 60 pages - 978-0-8071-1639-5
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In his first collection, Middleton pays poetic tribute to various family members and friends, several from his Louisiana boyhood, all of whom have had a profound impact on his life. To his maternal grandmother, he writes, ``You were the angel summoned up in pain / that innocence might walk upon the earth's / Envisioned ground.'' In other poems, Middleton reinterprets classical and Christian myths, depicting, in the process, a ``middle world'' between the materialism of nature and the metaphysicality of heaven, a somewhat idealistic state of being steeped in traditional moral values and a trenchant religious faith. Overseeing this world, of course, is God, who created men and women so that ``from them may emerge, and we behold, / Beyond the end of everything on earth, / Old Plato's ghostly orders of the soul.'' These poems, painstakingly fashioned to meet certain requirements of rhyme and meter, are often constrained by the formalism of Middleton's technical prowess. In addition, there is an aloof moral and intellectual pretentiousness about his work that severely limits any emotional or spiritual connection between reader and poet. (July)
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