Poetry by Hayden Carruth
This book collects five long poems that have previously appeared, with one exception, only in magazines and limited editions. One critic has called them “virtually secret.” Yet they are probably the heart of Carruth’s poetic achievement, both technically and thematically. Rising from the experience of emotional illness and the asylum, the poems move at intervals and over a period of nearly fifty years toward a sustained, workable view of humanity in crisis.
“I have tried to create a person,” Carruth writes, “specifically a seeing, living, surmounting person. Modesty is important, and so are winter and the north. A man alone in the snow is still much in this world, including the social world, though his ’in-ness’ is naturally a form of rebellion.”
The poems included are The Asylum, Journey to a Known Place, North Winter, Contra Mortem and My Father’s Face.