The Bitter Part of Heaven -- The Perils of Beauty -- The Comeback of Yma Sumac -- Cancer Talkers -- Upon Reading in the Newspaper That a Man in Kentucky Had Cut Off His Hand and His Foot with Pocketknives and Then Gouged Out an Eye in Order That He Might Go to Heaven -- On a Photograph I Found of Two Young Factory Workers Standing beside a Piece of Heavy Machinery and Inscribed on the Reverse "Sacred to the Memory of Friendship" -- The Correct Answers -- The Canticle of End-Times -- The Kali Yuga -- The Wastes of Resurrection -- Opie and the Apples -- Jam -- How I Tried to Explain the Certainties of Faith and Petrunkevitch's Famous Essay on the Wasp and the Tarantula to a Pentecostal Student Worried about My Soul -- About Their Father's Business -- Expulsions -- Baptisms -- Conversions -- Theological Meditation -- Silage -- Shitheads -- Reflections on the Progress of the Western Intellectual Tradition from Thales to Crick and Watson -- Hunting for a New Chairman; Thinking about Giotto -- Locomotion and Starlight -- Dreams of Standing -- The Myths of Meanness -- Bees -- Remembering My Father Riding -- Elegiac Stanza on a Photograph of Ethel Rosenberg in Her Kitchen -- Elegy -- Elegy in September -- Elegiac Ode -- Babies on the Beach -- Flowers for Robert Mapplethorpe -- The Mysteries: Elegy at Century's Close -- For a Friend Whose Son Committed Suicide -- Thinking of Maria Theresa Broussard, a Pregnant Girl in My Freshman Class My First Semester in Louisiana -- Seeing a Girl Who Looked like a Well-Known Child Actress Walking toward San Tome, the Church in Toledo Where El Greco's Burial of the Count of Orgaz Hangs -- Here In Louisiana -- The Surrounding Grace -- A Crown of Promise -- In Primary Light -- Self-portrait after Stanley Spencer
John Wood is well known for his brilliant writing on the history of photography, but for many years he has also centered on his work as a poet, publishing in some of the very best magazines and gaining the deep admiration of many writers and poets. This book is testimony of his devotion to his craft - a fully realized, mature, and carefully constructed collection.
The Iowa poetry prize
University of Iowa Press
Copyright 1994 John Wood
Wood, John. In primary light: poems. University of Iowa Press, 1994.