Robert Morgan Topsoil Road: Poems

ISBN 13: 9780807126134

Topsoil Road: Poems

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9780807126134: Topsoil Road: Poems
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This collection of poetry is a treasury of snapshots in time, celebrating the past and present in Robert Morgan's native region of western North Carolina and the Green River Valley. Subjects range from the Cherokee chief Attakullakulla in London to the way a zebra spider glides across the sky.

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Robert Morgan's newest collection of poetry is a treasury of snapshots in time, celebrating the past and present in Morgan's native region of western North Carolina and the Green River Valley. Topsoil Road features two parts, the first flowing smoothly from Cherokee history to the arrival of the poet's Welsh forebears. His father, a self-educated man and powerful storyteller, looms larger than life in a number of poems. In others, Morgan offers detailed memories of such people and places as the thrush doctor who could heal sickness by blowing into the feverish mouth of a patient, and the Blue Hole -- the deepest, darkest pool to be found in the Green River -- where hundreds of eels would appear once every year. Part two eloquently depicts the intricacies of nature and how they are subjected to the world of man. Morgan brings alive forgotten sights like the banjo maker knocking on trees to find the perfect sound for his handcrafted instruments, or the rough, everyday artistry of chickens scratching their marks in hard-packed dirt.

Whether describing the Cherokee chief Attakullakulla in London or the way a zebra spider glides across the sky, Morgan casts each poem with elegance and a rare sense of wonder, turning minute observations of the commonplace into portraits of delicate and significant beauty. Throughout the collection, his voice and vision remain strong as he employs an impressive range of poetic forms, including pantoums, sonnets, couplets, and blank verse. Morgan's own words may best distill the impression Topsoil Road leaves: "each cell / a hex perfect as a snowflake, / a sealed relic of sun and time / and roots of many acres fixed in crystal-tight arrays, in rows / andlattices of sweeter latin / from scattered prose of meadow, woods".

About the Author:

Robert Morgan, Kappa Alpha professor of English at Cornell University, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry and fiction, including the novel Gap Creek and short story collection The Balm of Gilead Tree. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He has received the James B. Hanes Poetry Prize, the North Carolina Award in Literature, and Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships for his works, which explore the culture and history of his native North Carolina mountains.

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