Night Thoughts and Henry Vaughan by David Young

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This engaging and thought provoking volume consists of two poems. The first, "Henry Vaughan," just longer than one hundred lines, acts as a gateway to the second, "Night Thoughts," a book-length poem of nearly one thousand lines. Together they form one of the more ambitious projects undertaken by an American poet in recent years. "Henry Vaughan" reflects the sensibility of the seventeenth-century Welsh mystic poet whose visionary night pieces form a kind of inspiration for "Night Thoughts," which is set entirely in David Young's backyard on an August night in 1991 during the Perseid meteor shower. "Night Thoughts" is filled with natural history, scientific issues, and a richly meditative engagement with memory, emotion, and history. A self-confessed bioregionalist who has made northern Ohio his home for thirty-three years, Young uses the local as his doorway to the universal. Of his first, prizewinning collection, Sweating Out the Winter (1969), one of the judges, William Stafford, noted: "David Young's poems continually loop the immediate into the far, and make enriched returns." That statement still stands for the practice of this remarkably consistent and distinctive poet.

About David Young

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DAVID YOUNG journeys from his front porch halfway across the globe and back to his Ohio home in the circuit marked by Foraging. His emphasis is on our mortality and survival; ghosts and mushrooms (hence the title) are central poetic images; wild mushrooms of an odd beauty--variegated, unpredictable, delicious, poisonous, hallucinogenic--taking their life from decay, recyclers of matter, rather as poets are. He sees nature as a haunted house, and as a presence whose meaning fascinates and eludes us. Some of his poems are spoken by ghosts, others addressed to ghosts--for example, the elegy for James Wright, which invites his spirit to return to his native Ohio.
Published September 1, 1994 by Ohio State Univ Pr (Trd). 63 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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we are introduced to ``a blue Ohio night'' and a gardener who produces a box of Ohio Blue Tip matches and tells us: ``I'm going to put you in this matchbox now/ and take you for a stroll around my yard.'' And so we follow through six sections of poems, each of these extended one hour deeper into ...

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