Where's the Moon, There's the Moon
By Dan Chiasson
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307272171, 88pp.)
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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These are powerfully original poems about the sweetness and pain of adulthood and fatherhood by the critically acclaimed poet Dan Chiasson.
A child’s improvised game of “Where’s the moon, There’s the moon” is the shaping metaphor for this collection, but adult matters of seeking and finding, loss and recovery, anticipation and desire’s uncertain rewards are at its heart. Chiasson makes poignant use of objects and nature’s givens as correlatives for our human struggles: “Being near me never made anyone a needle,” he writes in “Thread,” and in the poem titled “Tree,” “All day I waited to be blown; / then someone cut me down.” In the title sequence, a multipart poem about fathers and sons, Chiasson describes the ways the gift for being absent, a poet’s gift, is passed from father to son, as he watches his own children sink into the enigmatic silences that mimic his own—silences that he, in turn, connects with his own father’s disappearance from his life.
Chiasson is a poet of great grief and love. In this third book, his voice is more commanding than ever, embracing the notion of how small—yet how rich and significant—are our individual stories in time and space.
Dan Chiasson was educated at Amherst College and Harvard University. He is the author of two previous collections of poetry, The Afterlife of Objects and Natural History, and a book of criticism, One Kind of Everything: Poem and Person in Contemporary America. His essays on poetry appear widely, and he serves as a poetry editor of The Paris Review. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Whiting Writers Award, Chiasson teaches at Wellesley College and lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
“These poems refract the sober realities of middle age, in particular the joys and anxieties of fatherhood and grief at the deaths of friends or parents.”—The New York Review of Books