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The Beginning of the Fields

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The Beginning of the Fields by Angela Shaw


Synopsis | Selected Poems
The Beginning of the Fields
Angela Shaw
Photo by Felix L’Armand


$16.95 Paperback Original
ISBN: 978-1-932195-73-6
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Synopsis

Junot Díaz has said, “I’ve read nothing better in the field these last ten years. Angela Shaw is simply furiously miraculous.”

Angela Shaw’s new book is likely to be greeted as one of the most powerful debuts of this decade. Both muscular and delicate, these poems plunge a reader back into the sensory world, shaken and exhilarated.

Anticipating Shaw’s new book, Alice Fulton has said:
It’s thrilling to discover a writer whose mysteries fibrillate with an oddly gorgeous accuracy, whose beautifully made work offers jolts of recognition along with sublime surprises. Such ravishing poems imbue the ineffable—time, mortality, transience—with pathos and urgency. The Beginning of the Fields introduces a poet in full command of her impressive powers.
Billy Collins has called Shaw’s new book “a brilliant reminder of what distinguishes poetry from prose. Whether her focus is landscape, clothes, or the rituals of passion, her language is fresh, tense, alert, and keenly aware of the sonic and rhythmic pleasures it provides. Reader, dig in.”

Selected Poems

Oyster Your diffident bewilders, sly miss of fire hall dance. I spy you, mason, mending the place between the wall and yourself, mum as a brick. You are fastened, affixed, all mystery trapped in your thin-lipped simper. Shy dear, what fear seals you shut to the world’s grit., its bad seed? You’re no rare beauty, and I am not what the mothers have warned you against— some young bungler who pries his way in, pilfers the gem, missing the rest. Children in a Field They don’t wade in so much as they are taken. Deep in the day, in the deep of the field, every current in the grasses whispers hurry hurry, every yellow spreads its perfume like a rumor, impelling them further on. It is the way of girls. It is the sway of their dresses in the summer trance light, their bare calves already far gone in green. What songs will they follow? Whatever the wood warbles, whatever storm or harm the border promises, whatever calm. Let them go. Let them go traceless through the high grass and into the willow- blur, traceless across the lean blue glint of the river, to the long dark bodies of the conifers, and over the welcoming threshold of nightfall.