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Christopher Buckley

Sheep Meadow
2004 • 92 pp. 6 1/2 x 9"

$13.95 Paperback, 978-1-931357-22-7

Sky is Christopher Buckley's thirteenth collection of poetry and possibly his best… Here we have a wide-ranging poet… Buckley's craft has never been better, especially in the astonishingly fresh... [continued in Reviews below]”—World Literature Today

Christopher Buckley moves within the same poem from the most commonplace, ordinary, drab, inarticulate experiences of life and language to the most lyrical, beautiful, and sublime. Buckley’s art changes mud and dirty shoes into sky. A master of his art, he has much to teach us about seeing, thinking, and feeling. As Gerald Stern has put it, Buckley’s “subject is radiance. So he hates fascism and believes we are more than dust. So I read him.”

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Reviews / Endorsements

Sky is Christopher Buckley's thirteenth collection of poetry and possibly his best… Here we have a wide-ranging poet… Buckley's craft has never been better, especially in the astonishingly fresh images and tropes we encounter on every page… Sky is an earnest and honest book, full of poetic discovery in an unpretentious and authentic voice.”World Literature Today

“Sky is a gorgeous meditation on the Californian landscape and a guiltless ambivalence regarding a residual faith in the metaphysics of religion … Buckley is our own sweet cynic, practicing, in vernacular disguises, the golden style of vision and language recommended by Virgil, the acid doubt of Donne and Alan Dugan. Reading his beautiful poems, I feel brotherhood, sustenance, and the grace of a not quite Godless song.”—Garret Hongo

From the Book:


My distinguishing marks
Are wonder and despair.

--Wislawa Szymborska

What is it with the crows up there --
Complaining about us every day since
That first morning when, once the chemicals
Cooled and the color blue was decided upon,

We crawled out from under the sea
Raising our hands up with the hymn
Of oxygen? Space within space --
Like the sea. But there is nowhere

To grasp a blue bit of it, although
It's in my mind, clear and immeasurable
Despite night regularly rolling down
Its shutter and calling in the birds

Who sing because the thimbles
Of their lungs burn the white
Idea of it, because it is the magnetic
Fabric of their minds, and leads them,

By the silver tide, home. It is only
A wide opening to itself --the dis-
Associative atmosphere of ths soul;
Where else does the incomplete sentence

Of the future end? No one in this thin
Caplet, at this faint edge, knows
Who's breathing outside the limits
Of our thought, which is to say

The universe is the way Aristarcus of Samos
Saw it one day looking out his window,
Eating a biscuit, when he was the first
To say the earth revolved about the sun

And it got him nowhere. So although
I look out via the interstellar photos
Into the original fires, where it is going
To get me when I want one more day

Of breathing along side the eucalyptus
and Sage? Cave of air, all the estimations
Are flung up there and floating, like
Pollen, like shreds of cloud spread over

The horizon, the way my book reports
Flew out of my folder in 1959 as I raced
My bije down San Ysidro Road. Since then,
Little has been clear. So far as I can see,

The trees are always unequal to the stars,
The Pacific coast is the edge of the world.
More each evening now, facing out to the light,
I feel the great blind motion behind the air.

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY’s most recent book is And the Sea. With Gary Young Buckley, he is the editor of The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, and Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems & Poetics from California. He has received a Fulbright Award in Creative Writing to visit the former Yugoslavia, four Pushcart Prizes, two awards from the Poetry Society of America, and NEA grants in poetry for 2001 and 1984. He is currently a 2007-2008 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. He teaches in the creative writing Program at the University of California Riverside.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:53:20 -0500