The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech by Stephen Dobyns

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This new collection from best-selling poet and novelist Stephen Dobyns focuses on the hard, ephemeral truth of mortality, including the section “Sixteen Sonnets for Isabel” about the recent death of his wife; the poem "Laugh," a portrait of the late poet Hayden Carruth; and the poignant parable of a horse in a bar. In true Dobyns fashion, these poems grip and guide readers into a state of empathy, ultimately raising the question of how one lives and endures in the world.


The awful imbalance that occurs with age
when you suddenly see that more friends

have died, than remain alive. And at times
the memory seems so real that the latest

realization of a death can become a second,
smaller death. All those talks cut off in mid-

sentence. All those plans tossed in the trash.
What can you do but sit out on the porch

when evening comes? The day's last light
reddens the leaves of the copper beach.

Stephen Dobyns is the best-selling author of twenty-three novels, fourteen books of poetry, two collections of essays, and one book of short stories. Among his many honors and awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Dobyns has worked as a reporter for Detroit News, and has written reviews for such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Times Literary Supplement. He has taught at various academic institutions, including Sarah Lawrence College, the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, and Boston University. He currently lives in Westerly, Rhode Island.


About Stephen Dobyns

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STEPHEN DOBYNS is the author of more than thirty novels and poetry collections, including The Church of Dead Girls, Cold Dog Soup, and Cemetery Nights. Among his many honors and awards are a Melville Cane Award, Pushcart Prizes, a National Poetry Series prize, and three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His novels have been translated into twenty languages, and his poetry has appeared in the Best American Poems anthology. Dobyns teaches creative writing at Warren Wilson College and has taught at the University of Iowa and Sarah Lawrence College.
Published September 19, 2016 by BOA Editions Ltd.. 120 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech

Among the many difficult life lessons revealed in Dobyns's 14th collection (after 2010's Winter's Journey), two seem most prominent: the realization that "each person's golden age is turned to tin" and the futility of trying to "determine/ the end of an action at the start of an action." To be hu...

Aug 01 2016 | Read Full Review of The Day's Last Light Reddens ...