Field Music

Alexandria Hall. Ecco, $16.99 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-06-300838-0
Hall’s striking debut, winner of the 2019 National Poetry Series, describes life in rural Vermont, full of sneaky cowbirds, diesel fumes, fecal runoff, lilacs, musty lake houses where “things don’t unrot,” and voices with particular twangs: “Mom says ancient/ like ank-shint” and “Dad says he can sing like a Kawasaki. He says/ he’s got some good idears.” Violence and danger lurk throughout, and borders are transgressed by unruly plants and people: “The morning// glories creep up the shafts of the garden/ vegetables, their seductive curls choking/ out my small plot.” Between awkward sexual initiations and adult encounters, rhyme brings a sense of order: “A desire that looks good on me,/ that hugs the detailed curves of fantasy,/ instead of this mess, this heaving blur./ Could this be pleasure?” In the collection’s closing poem, Hall movingly advises: “what stays are the song and the crash/ of the tractor, the trash compactor, the machines/ full of love and the fields full of breaking/ the fields where the light slips out.” This atmospheric collection will transport readers to Hall’s layered landscapes. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/13/2020
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Poetry
Ebook - 96 pages - 978-0-06-300839-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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