Cold Pastoral

Cold Pastoral : Poems

4.11 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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A searing, urgent collection of poems that brings the lyric and documentary together in unparalleled ways-unmasking and examining the specter of manmade disaster. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Hurricane Katrina. The Flint water crisis. Thousands dead, lives destroyed, and a natural world imperiled by human choices. This is the litany of our time-and these are the events that Rebecca Dunham traces, passionately and brilliantly, in Cold Pastoral. In poems that incorporate interviews and excerpts from government documents and other sources-poems that adopt the pastoral and elegiac traditions in a landscape where "I can't see the bugs; I don't hear the birds"-Dunham finds the intersection between moral witness and shattering art. Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a collection that reveals what poetry can-and, perhaps, should-be, reflecting ourselves and our world back with gorgeous more

Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 7.62mm | 113.4g
  • Milkweed Editions
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • 1571314784
  • 9781571314789
  • 693,489

Review quote

"One way to understand the power of this book is that it revises the pastoral tradition so as to make it meaningful in the time of Deepwater Horizon and Flint and other environmental disasters. Another way to understand it is as a meaningful and moving series of poems that explore how contemporary landscapes, with their human-made dystopias, stress and mangle relations between humans. And that it does all of this without giving up on the lyric, the form that was made to explore the intimacies between humans that we call love, is a sign of its timely power."-Juliana Spahr "The environmental disasters of Cold Pastoral aren't just the catastrophes that make the news. With panoramic detail, Rebecca Dunham's poems unpack the ways in which small decisions can have enormous, unintended consequences. How, asks one poem, does one `continue in a world that disappears around me'? Dunham doesn't offer any easy answers. Illuminating but not didactic, Cold Pastoral is an elegy for our endangered environment and the pastoral paradise of which we still dream."-Rebecca Hazelton "`Disaster was my god,' wrote Rimbaud in A Season in Hell. Cold Pastoral offers the reader a series of lyric investigations of disasters, the devastation of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig its central crime scene. Sorrowing and lucent, Rebecca Dunham is as attentive to the threats to nonhuman species as she is to the men who died when the rig exploded: `Love can turn a man / to flame.' Dunham's poems find in disaster not exactly god, but the will toward meaning that disaster must manifest when it encounters a living language, eloquent as the wounds of Nature themselves."-Joshua Corey "In Cold Pastoral, Rebecca Dunham unfailingly captures and confronts our current ecological crisis. Her method is at once investigative, documentary, elegiac, and lyric. With passion and brilliance, she creates a rich and devastating poetry that does not resist confrontation, does not apologize for its anger, its intelligence, its prophecy, or its lamentation. With each new collection of poetry, Dunham has pushed beyond the amazing achievement and sheer originality of the last book. Few poets of her generation are writing with such authority, grace, and eloquence."-Eric Pankey "She constructs a narrative of living in a time of spectacular ruin, ecological disaster, and insidious chemical endangerment, with the poet/speaker both proximal to and removed from their effects, Dunham makes it clear that beyond her and others' personal experiences, humans have become subject to a ruin of their own making."-Publishers Weekly "One of the most anticipated, and most needed poetry collections of 2017, Rebecca Dunham's Cold Pastoral examines the man-made natural disasters of our time: the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and the Flint water crisis. Her poems are experimental, edgy, and powerful, blending interviews and excerpts from government documents with pastoral poetic traditions."-BUSTLEshow more

About Rebecca Dunham

Rebecca Dunham is the author of three previous books of poetry: Glass Armonica, winner of Milkweed Editions' 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize; The Flight Cage; and The Miniature Room, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. She has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and was the 2005Â 6 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and lives in Madison, more

Rating details

26 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 35% (9)
4 42% (11)
3 23% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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