A New Englanders collection of poems speaking to a states, our nations and the worlds traumas and transcendent possibilitiesour human and natural neighborhoodin a voice personal and universal
Award-winning poet Gary Margolis gathers four books of poetry in Raking the Winter Leaves: New and Selected Poems, including a selection of poems from his new collection, The Other Flag. These poems speak from the heart of New England and our nation, from the worldly places and habitats, stripped by war and the heated climate of politics. They speak in a style familiar to his readers of almost fifty years with thoughtful feeling, humor, curiosity and the surprises to which following the threads of a poem’s unexpected, yet inevitable, language can suggest and provide. As he writes in “Consider Yourself,” “As a rule stones will sing, Give what you can, what there is to give, what you have been given,” these poems fold in and blossom, bring us to a falling night and rising day.
Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reviews / Endorsements
“What I treasure about these poems, so diverse in their concerns, is the thread of passionate decency that unifies them. Gary Margolis believes that God may be found among the weeds, and that this jangled world can draw us into the numinous if we only stay alert to the ground-level pulsings that can lead us there. His spare recollective voice fiercely and tenderly sings us on our way.”—Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Life
“In poem after poem, Gary Margolis proves himself in this mature, lucid and humane volume by one of our most accomplished and indispensable poets.”—Jay Parini, author of Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America
“I hope this sweep over a lifetime of words will show the world that Gary Margolis is a distinctively American poet to be celebrated and honored as one of the classics. At times he reminds you of his neighbor Frost, at his best, though Gary is more contemporary and dimensional. He does the poet’s thing of turning the ordinary into a revelatory text on the meaning of things. Like a Vermont pond in the sunshine, every poem emits layer upon layer of light, helping us to see what we usually overlook or simply don’t have the eyes to notice.” —Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and A Religion of One’s Own
“Raking the Winter Leaves is the work of a poet with a gift for meditative attention, “falling awake” in our precarious century, where “war never says one thing/and means another.” . . . Margolis writes as a husband, father, counselor, healer, and citizen of the Republic, where, he confesses, “Doubt/is my democracy,” but his language is light and tensile, playful and sprung from its own music, where we are never far from such hard-won admissions as conclude a poem on the art of dying, where, he writes “I have done everything I could.” For having done that and more, abundant gratitude.” —Carolyn Forché, author of Blue Hour
From the Book:
No one can remember why it happened.
No one received any notice or was told
where to redeem their tickets. Stadiums
by the sea were swept in, and fields
in the Midwest returned to fields. It was
expected citizens would know how
to cheer for themselves and read silently,
expected wives wouldn’t make too
much of this, but children would. Rules,
and flags that had been thrown to enforce
the rules, were forgotten and held in
the same esteem as grass clippings.
Groundskeepers rolled Astroturf back
into the laboratory, but not anything
green by its own nature.
GARY MARGOLIS is the author of four books of poems, Below the Falls, Fire in the Orchard, Falling Awake, and The Day We Still Stand Here. His memoir, Seeing the Songs: A Poet’s Journey to the Shamans in Ecuador, is recently published. He is Executive Director Emeritus of College Mental Health Services at Middlebury College where he was also a part time Associate Professor of English and American Literatures. A recipient of Vermont Arts Council and Millay Colony Awards, and a Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, his poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, American Scholar, Poetry Northwest, and the Journal of the American College Health Association. He has taught at the Bread Loaf, University of Tennessee and University of Vermont Writers’ Conferences. Dr. Margolis was awarded the Sam Dietzel Award for mental health practice in Vermont by the clinical psychology department of Saint Michaels College and the Covey Community Award by the Counseling Service of Addison County. He lives with his wife, Wendy Lynch, in Cornwall, Vermont.