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Living With Distance

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Living With Distance

By: Ralph J. Mills Jr.

Availability: In Stock

Regular price $ 10.00

About This Title

"What is most compelling about Ralph J. Mills, Jr.'s Living With Distance is the sense the poems had to be written: chaste, sensitive, often deeply meditative, they reveal strongly the poet's essential self. Like all fine books, Living with Distance shows us a man - one we want very much to know."-- Lucien Stryk "Mills's absorption in nature is one of the remarkable features of this book. In virtually every poem - and Mills's subjects range from character portrayals through love, death and life itself - nature is the significant metaphor with which he projects his insights and feelings. It clearly marks him as one of the new voices in our deepening awareness of the role of nature in our lives, and Mills invests this awareness with singular intensity and commitment. Among the new voices he is surely one of the most distinguished."-- David Ignatow "Ralph Mills - better known, til now, as critic than poet - beautifully reveals in these poems how a sensibility can find its precise equivalent in language. There is no hiatus between vision and expression in his work."-- Denise Levertov "Ominous and beautiful, what we call nature haunts the speaker of these poems - ominous: seen suddenly as unmastered; beautiful: terrifying with a presence stronger than the meanings we can give it. And so the speaker speaks reverently, as at the beginning of a sacred event, because there the assured animal action of the human body seems almost impossible. The tiniest details of twilight, water, leaves - what are we doing among them? That question, uttered with great sincerity, is at the heart of Living With Distance: its value for me is how close the speaker stays in each movement and tone of the speech of the poems to the actualities: an authentic, sorrowful and humane music whose mood is the speaker's not that frequently literary feeling ventriloquised by the poet through his admiration for somebody else's verse - or, as it has been put: ' ... the rescued fragment ... held up before all eyes in the light of a sincere mood.'''-- Stephen Berg

The Whisper

Out of sleep I come back,
it seems always,
to morning light on the elms, their leaves
poised as if listening,
to the young ash at the corner
that hovers in a green cloud.

Heat has thickened the air,
today the lake lies flat out, a sheet
of burning glass
under the sky's cornflower blue.

Trees and bird cries, the day's tasks,
familiar streets
running in the same directions.

What did it mean
when I woke, hours before dawn,
to the mind's whisper —
gray, darkening there at the center,
the edges,
the road spilling away in rain
like a flooded stream,
and darker the heavy branches, the leaves'
tight net,
and the way home?

© BOA Editions, Ltd 1979

Available Editions:
ClothISBN: 0-918526-17-5
Price: $18.00
Publishing Date: May 1979
Cover wear evident
PaperbackISBN: 0-918526-18-3
Price: $10.00
Publishing Date: May 1979
Cover wear evident