Stella --A Boat Is a Lever --Aunt --Two Birds --The Man Who Patched the Floor --In the Bathroom Mirror --First Flight --Son, When I Hold You Tightly --Anniversary of Wood --Try --For My Wife, on Our Son's Third Birthday --Memory --Force --Swimming Pool --Adam's Birthday --The Happy Story --To My Father in Heaven --Real Time --Suburb of Light and Dazzle --The Hope of Mississippi --Slug Caterpillar --Wild Walking: After the Gulf War.
In his convincing and highly accomplished fifth book, Ralph Burns draws on his deep practice and experience. His tones, forms, and subjects are various and striking, the work of a poet mature and courageous enough to range through the full spectrum of his emotions.
Sometimes Burns is haunted by the strength and fallibility of the Christian tradition, and in many of his poems he explores the conflicts between individuals and the larger world - the mystery and responsibility of choice, consequence and inconsequence, "the terror of being taken."
The Iowa poetry prize
University of Iowa Press
Iowa City, Iowa
Copyright 1996 Ralph Burns
Burns, Ralph. Swamp candles: poems. University of Iowa Press, 1996.