These are powerfully original poems about the sweetness and pain of adulthood and fatherhood by the critically acclaimed poet Dan Chiasson.
A child’s improvised game of “Where’s the moon, There’s the moon” is the shaping metaphor for this collection, but adult matters of seeking and finding, loss and recovery, anticipation and desire’s uncertain rewards are at its heart. Chiasson makes poignant use of objects and nature’s givens as correlatives for our human struggles: “Being near me never made anyone a needle,” he writes in “Thread,” and in the poem titled “Tree,” “All day I waited to be blown; / then someone cut me down.” In the title sequence, a multipart poem about fathers and sons, Chiasson describes the ways the gift for being absent, a poet’s gift, is passed from father to son, as he watches his own children sink into the enigmatic silences that mimic his own—silences that he, in turn, connects with his own father’s disappearance from his life.
Chiasson is a poet of great grief and love. In this third book, his voice is more commanding than ever, embracing the notion of how small—yet how rich and significant—are our individual stories in time and space.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Where's the Moon, There's the Moon|
|Release Date: 11-24-2010|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Where's the Moon, There's the Moon
A Story for Children
If I look to the opposite shore and greet myself there,
if I call out to myself come here
and watch myself laboriously construct from shore-things
a boat, and watch myself over the waters come rowing,
but, crossing the midpoint between shores,
out in the middle of the colorless lake,
no longer approaching, no longer coming closer,
disappear, where am I now, has my boat capsized?
Infinite capacity for love in the smallest detail;
infinite suffering in the innermost reality;
large mind in even the dumbest, mutest object;
destiny in an object that stands still;
heart in the middle of the grey, motionless water;
the largest sadness in the world in a groaning buoy;
in a buoy and the bird overhead, huge sadness,
and yet I hop from place to place as though I’m weightless.
When I picture my father I see the surface of the moon,
plains of moon-stuff, chalk-dust papers shredded
by a paper-shredder, snowbanks of shredded paper,
nobody to organize it all, no way to “moralize the day
out of its aimlessness,” nobody with a Shop-Vac handy
slowly to turn the whiteness into pattern and form,
revealing, as a chisel reveals in the marble,
a figure, a woman’s figure, an expression of bliss—
Now that that big nonentity the moon is in my mind
the clichés for representing earth are hereby banished—
a hundred open-ended poems, abrupt transitions, high tones
grating against the low, unsorted experience;
sex beside the holy man defiled by sex,