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Reviews / Endorsements
“It is my belief that Christopher Middleton is the finest poet writing today. It may take some time for this to be generally recognized, but why wait? Read him now, in this splendid collection.” —Carolyn Kizer
“Christopher Middleton's rare genius for exact observation and metaphysical wit has given us for over half a century now poems of such brilliant craftsmanship and exacting sensibility that a few critics only have dared to assess their magic. He is an incomparable stylist, a wry ironist, a philosopher of words. The only category in which he fits justly is that of poet.”—Guy Davenport
From the Book:
To catch a tulip, yellow out of earth,
Fresh, as it grew, I sloped across a green.
Tulips, two or three, together in my hand
I stoop to catch another, deeper down.
Catch, my word, my hope, and there's a trick:
Pull up a pod sucked halfway underground.
And so I did. As I stood straight again,
Out buzzed a dragonfly, and huge, bur hoary
It bristles in my face, so stinging, poison
This tube, a vapid blue, of centuries the rot;
Me bespewed with my own mess of tempers,
That thing will eat the music out of me.
I drop the pod; of innocence I shout.
Nobody hears. Foul into the grenn
It slithers back, the dragonfly, his palace.
Then I could breathe again, and so could he.
---from "Pinkard's Ditty"
Born in 1926, CHRISTOPHER MIDDLETON taught at the University of Texas-Austin, from 1966-1998. Prior works include The Balcony Tree (1992), Intimate Chronicles (1996), and The Word Pavilion and Selected Poems (2001). His anthology, Faint Harps and Silver Voices, was published in 2000.