May Day: Poems (Paperback)


By Gretchen Marquette

Graywolf Press, 9781555977399, 80pp.

Publication Date: May 3, 2016



" You arrive at my altar"
" with no idea"

"what it means to worship--to adore."
" You haven't even learned it: "

"ecstasy and suffering"
" make the same face."

--from "The Offering"

"May Day" is both a distress call and a celebration of the arrival of spring. In this rich and unusually assured first collection, the poet Gretchen Marquette writes of the losses of a brother gone off to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a great love--losses that have left the world charged with absence and grief. But there is also the wonder of the natural world: the deer at the edge of the forest, the dog reliably coaxing the poet beyond herself and into the city park where by tradition every May Day is pageantry, a festival of surviving the long winter. "What does it mean to be in love?" one poem asks. "As it turns out, / the second best thing that can happen to you / is a broken heart."

"May Day" introduces readers to a new poet of depth and power.

About the Author

Gretchen Marquette has published poems in Harper's Magazine, The Paris Review, and Tin House. She lives and teaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota.