|"... I like these poems better than I can put words to." —Jean Valentine
|Chard deNiord: Sharp Golden Thorn
Jean Valentine: This is a work of spiritual intelligence, rueful, loving, ecstatic: an everyman sings here of God, lover, nature, all one and shapeshifting, and sings at times with the simple beauty of the best southwestern country music.
In an early poem in Chard deNiord's Sharp Golden Thorn he writes, "I was the man in the fire that is his beloved." Spoken from an abyss so universal and finally, so mythical, that their considerable risks become irrelevant, these poems truly negotiate the boundaries between our minds and our bodies; between our spiritual and skeptical selves; between the myth and its maker, the lover and the beloved: —between the many singers and the single singed heart. To return from such a place is no small task. To be able to write about it is no small gift. This is a remarkable book. —Jane Mead
On Asleep in the Fire:
"[It is] a brilliant first collection of poems. The language is everywhere fresh and bright, the words themselves like pebbles in a clear brook. The poet himself comes wonderfully to life in a voice with deep spiritual resonance." —Jay Parini
Chard deNiord is the author of Asleep in the Fire. He is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Providence College and directs the New England College MFA Program in poetry. He lives in Putney, Vermont.
How many times have I told this story?
There I was ambling along in search of dessert
inside the orchard when a goshawk dove on me
with outstretched talons.
There I was all dressed in cotton
in the cool of evening, inspecting
the trees for infestation,
when a goshawk harrowed me.
There I was pinned to the ground
like a reprobate with my liver exposed
as a fresh hors d'oeuvre on a dusty plate
when a goshawk circled me in figure eights.
There I was crawling away
behind the trees where the apples hung
like brains, and nothing I said
reminded this bird of who I was.