Goodbye to the Orchard: Poems

Steven Cramer

Published by Sarabande Books, 2004
ISBN 10: 1932511040 / ISBN 13: 9781932511048
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“There isn’t a page in this book that isn’t bracing. . . .”—Marie Howe

Beginning with the word “defeat” and concluding on the word “alive,” Goodbye to the Orchard testifies that we must remain open in the face of loss, because loss is a given; and that our glimpses of the mysteries—whether of dying or living—are all we’re allowed.

Steven Cramer is the author of The Eye that Desires to Look Upward, The World Book, and Dialogue for the Left and Right Hand. He currently lives in Massachusetts.

From the Back Cover: In Steven Cramer's fourth collection of poems, we encounter a winning combination of grace, eclectic intelligence, and dryly comic self-regard. "Goodbye to the Orchard is a refreshing tonic to the claustrophobia of much contemporary poetry. Cramer takes subjects that are familiar at first glance--we thought we knew all about "The Soul," a "Sixties Couple," a "Morning Walk in the Orchard," or how "Word Gets Around"--and makes them oddly affecting, weirdly fresh. Icons of high and popular culture appear in unpredictable ways (Shakespeare, Hendrix, Rin-Tin-Tin, the Marquis de Sade), so that as a whole "Goodbye to the Orchard strikes an original tone--a curious, undeluded sweetness. No other poet sounds quite the same note.
Cramer employs agile structures in service of ambitious themes, his work by turns brave, disarmingly funny, and adroit at symmetrical form and free-verse syncopation. At the heart of the book we encounter a sister's fatal illness, and these poems tell us of our search, especially at such last moments, to find words for what can't, ultimately, be described: "Maybe it's just a better childhood--" brother says to dying sister, "this life after death, I mean..." Moving in the extreme, such scenes are captured with unsentimental accuracy.
Beginning with the word "defeat" and concluding on the word "alive," "Goodbye to the Orchard testifies that we must remain open in the face of loss, because loss is a given; and that our glimpses of the mysteries--whether of dying or living--are all we're allowed. But those prismatic views, well rendered, are all we need.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Goodbye to the Orchard: Poems
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1st edition,.

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Cramer, Steven
Published by Sarabande Books (2004)
ISBN 10: 1932511040 ISBN 13: 9781932511048
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Cramer, Steven
Published by Sarabande Books (2004)
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Cramer, Steven
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