Last Lake (Phoenix Poets) (Paperback)

By Reginald Gibbons

University of Chicago Press, 9780226417455, 96pp.

Publication Date: October 31, 2016

List Price: 18.00*
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From Ritual

A slow parade of old west enthusiasts,
camp song and hymn, came in along the winding

way where rural declined to suburban, slow
riders and wagoners passing a cow staked

to graze, some penned cattle looking vacantly
up-not in vacant lots the ancient icons

of wealth they had been in odes, prayers and epics,
in sacrifices and customs of bride-price

or dowry. (It's good people no longer make
blood sacrifices, at gas stations and stores,

for example, and in the crunching gravel
parking lots of small churches-oh but we do.)

"The evening forgives the alleyway," Reginald Gibbons writes in his tenth book of poems-but such startling simplicities are overwhelmed in us by the everyday and the epochal. Across the great range of Gibbons's emblematic, vividly presented scenes, his language looks hard at and into experience and feeling. Words themselves have ideas, and have eyes-inwardly looking down through their own meanings, as the poet considers a lake in the Canadian north, a Chicago neighborhood, a horse caravan in Texas, a church choir, a bookshelf, or an archeological dig on the steppes near the Volga River. The last lake is the place of both awe and elegy.

About the Author

Reginald Gibbons is a Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University. His poetry collections include National Book Award finalist Creatures of a Day and Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.