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Jared Smith

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The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations
by Jared Smith   

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Books by Jared Smith
· The Collected Poems of Jared Smith: 1971-2011
· Grassroots
· Looking Into The Machinery: Selected Longer Poems
· Where Images Become Imbued With Time
· Lake Michigan And Other Poems
                >> View all



Publisher:  Higganum Hill Books Type: 


ISBN-13:  9780977655687

Critically acclaimed book of poetry about working class Americans and the land that forms them. Nominated for a Pulitzer in 2008.

Strong organic poetry by one of America's most widely published contemporary poets. This has drawn parallels to Garcia Lorca, Henry David Thorough, and Carl Sanburg, among others. 

Professional Reviews

The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations
I like to read Jared Smith at night. The middle of the night is best for this most recent volume by a poet still so in love with the hard life of humanity that his heart cracks wider open with every collection. He's often been compared with Whitman, but in the last three volumes, Where Images Become Imbued With Time, Lake Michigan and Other Poems, and now, this one in which he surveys our collective graves, he puts me more in mind of Blake -- not the young Blake of the songs, but the more mature and darker Blake of the visionary prophecies. It's not that Smith has stopped singing--like Dickinson's Hope, he sings and sings "and never stops at all" -- except that, unlike that hope-bird, he is forced to find words to sing the unspeakable. I would call this a sad book, but that would not account for how joyous it feels to be reminded that every inch of earth we walk on is a sacred bone-heap, the midden of countless millions, and that this is now also true of the highways we drive, the dams we construct, the bridges we build. Smith's world is a vast and gorgeous graveyard, teeming with both the quick and the dead. Unlike another of our poets who had a life in the busy haunts where men do business, Smith's poems feel deeply dedicated to workers of stone and earth. Perhaps it's largely true that "where men go to work/ in the morning the work goes on unknown to poets," but Smith is listening and watching. He feels, I think, that we may not be long for this land, or this planet. His sense of elegy grows stronger volume by volume, for "something new is hunting closer to the bone now." I'd call him a prophet of doom if it were not for the love that simply aches in every line. If he "cannot bear the sorrow of knowing I have known you," neither could he bear not having known what Alicia Ostriker once called "this wounded world that is our bride." He loves that world as he finds it, even in sorrow, even in the pain carved into our bodies, the flesh that "animates not only itself/ but the stone, the bone, and all we know."

Diana Hume George

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