Poetry by Hayden Carruth
America’s paved-over landscape dotted with its oases of shopping malls and franchise strips is the setting for Hayden Carruth’s Asphalt Georgics, a new collection of thirteen poems in the common speech of Upstate New York. Here are the voices of Charlie Spaid, talking of the death of his landlady, Marge; of Septic Tanck, musing on his own peculiar name; of old Capper Kaplinski, still watching the girls pass by; of Art and Poll, back in the old neighborhood. What they tell about their lives is hardly what they themselves would ever expect to read in the pages of a book of poetry. Yet to capture the rhythms of their very colloquial language, Hayden Carruth has invented a new verse form, his Georgics-quatrains in strict syllables and rhyme, though with no accentual pattern––which achieve by their special artifice a classic and earthy elegance.