Riding Westward (Hardcover)


By Carl Phillips

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374250034, 64pp.

Publication Date: April 18, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/15/2007)

List Price: 22.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The singer turning thisand that way, as if watching the song itself
--the words to the song--leave him, as he
lets each go, the wind carrying most of it,
some of the words, falling, settling into
instead that larger darkness, where the smaller

darknesses that our lives were lie softly down."
--from "Riding Westward"

What happens when the world as we've known it becomes divided, when the mind becomes less able--or less willing--to distinguish reality from what is desired? In Riding Westward, Carl Phillips wields his celebrated gifts for syntax and imagery that are unmistakably his own--speculative, athletic, immediate--as he confronts moral crisis. What is the difference, he asks, between good and evil, cruelty and instruction, risk and trust? Against the backdrop of the natural world, Phillips pitches the restlessness of what it means to be human, as he at once deepens and extends a meditation on that space where the forces of will and imagination collide with sexual and moral conduct.

Praise For Riding Westward: Poems

Praise for The Rest of Love:

"Complicated, atmospheric, passionately private . . . Like Donne, Phillips mixes the divine with the beloved [and] proves that the great English verse tradition of erotic religious poetry is alive and well." -David Orr, The New York Times Book Review

"Phillips has made over the years something not unlike a new musical scale. Singing the music of mythology, history and philosophy, his poems are delicately crafted to sound like common speech even though there is nothing pedestrian about them. Because of their dexterity, they are approachable without sacrificing their loftier aspirations." -Dionisio Martinez, The Miami Herald

"Phillips linds eroticism and mutability, which leads him to create beguiling images of vulnerability...The Rest of Love is the scintillating record of a poet struggling to understand desire and to find a pattern of understanding within the struggle itself." --John Palattella, Newsday