Doctor Jazz (Lannan Literary Selections)

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9781556591938: Doctor Jazz (Lannan Literary Selections)

Hayden Carruth, one of the most acclaimed poets of our age, lives his music—finding the perfect low tones of terrible loss and high riffs of family and friendship.

"Carruth keeps getting better."—The New Yorker

"Carruth’s new poems are, essentially, songs of praise and celebrations of beauty; for all the real anguish and pain they record, they remain enactments of a fundamental attitude of faith and wonder."—Times Literary Supplement (London)

"The elegiac gravity of ‘Dearest M—,’ on a daughter’s death, refuses to release us until its final syllable."—Library Journal (starred review)

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About the Author:

Hayden Carruth is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies, and has held fellowships from the Bollingen, Guggenheim and Lannan foundations, as well as the NEA. His many awards include the National Book Award for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Lenore Marshall/The Nation Award.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Half-Acre of Millet

So green the leaves in late September sun
So glossy those dark spikes of seed
Lying between the potatoes and the orchard
A hunting ground for the good king snake
that searched for shrews
"A tonic for the cows before they go into the barn
for the long winter,"
Marshall said, and he would turn them into it
How they romped and sang
How they gorged on the sweetness
At last it was trampled and rubbled, the leaves, panicles,
and stalks were all eaten
And then a day or two later the cows went reluctantly
to their stanchions
Into the dark muttering and complaining

Now I'm sickly and old and altogether somewhere else
Marshall is a voice from the dusty closet of history
I keep looking for my own half-acre of millet
in the autumn sun
but I don't find it
Now I'm told they don't plant millet around here.

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