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Cover for On the Ground

On the Ground


Fanny Howe


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A spiritually resonant and politically urgent new collection by the winner of the Lenore Marshall poetry prize

My father was a soldier
who was smaller than my son

when he returned as a ghost.

I begged him to stay with us
but he said: "Not until you come to life."
-from "[Untitled]"

Fanny Howe's bold new collection responds to the contrast between American imperialist goals and the realities of life lived "on the ground." While our minds are preoccupied with the war games on television, we go on living among our ordinary joys and appetites. How can we live under these dissonant conditions and reconcile our existence with our longings?

Praise For On the Ground: Poems

“Fanny Howe employs a sometimes fierce, always passionate, spareness in her lifelong parsing of the exchange between matter and spirit. Her work displays as well a political urgency, that is to say, a profound concern for social justice and for the soundness and fate of the polis, the 'city on a hill.' Writes Emerson, 'The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty.' Here's the luminous and incontrovertible proof.” —Michael Palmer

Graywolf Press, 9781555974039, 72pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2004

About the Author

Fanny Howe is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including Gone, Selected Poems, One Crossed Out, and a collection of essays, The Wedding Dress.
She lives in New England.