Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum by Michael Waters
(American Poets Continuum)

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Michael Waters writes vivid, sensual poems that fuse our longings in this world with the human urge to glimpse whatever lies beyond. Waters' muse is Walt Whitman and, like much of Whitman's work, his poems challenge us to abide one another and embrace humanity's imperfections. Viewing curiosities in a medical museum, Waters asks: "How then can I forget/ these jars stuffed with the invisible/ masses who touch us in our dreams, who steep/ our yearnings in their milky waters?" These generous poems, crafted syllable by syllable, speak to love and loss, our foibles and shortcomings, and the possibility of aesthetic and spiritual transcendence.

About Michael Waters

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Waters is a professor of English at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He has taught in the creative writing program at Ohio University and the University of Maryland and has been Visiting Professor of American Literature at the University of Athens, Greece, as well as Banister Writer-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
Published March 1, 1997 by BOA Editions Ltd.. 75 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Waters's eye for physical detail yields some treasures, as in the powerful austerity of leafless trees evoked in ""First Lesson: Winter Trees."" Yet even a poem about a painting of dead infants (""Chrisoms"") focuses on ""hibiscus-buds of penises,/ the creamy, vaginal erasures."" There are some p...

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