by Richard Taylor
From the first edition, published in 1979 (Gnomon Press):
These poems of Richard Taylor define the intimate connection the author feels with animals, land, and family. The writing is full of praise and reverence for old values in their often desperate battle with the modern: be it trees giving way to subdivisions or the aging of a craftsman or the death of relatives. His well-hewn poems, delineated with careful eye and language, embody these values and the traditions they encompass.
A.R. Ammons has said of this book: The fine perceiving that gives substance to these poems is wonderfully equalled by the forming freshness of the words. I find that the pin-pointing here and there, rather than narrowing the vision, illuminates whole landscapes.
As Jeff Daniel Marion noted in a review of Taylors first book, Bluegrass, though his subject matter focuses on the details of the rural experience, the range is wide. This is equally true of this collection, which brings together what the author wants to preserve from his earlier volume with his most recent lyrics.
Richard Taylor is also the author of Girty, described by the American Book Review as at once a moving novel and a welcome revision of myth.