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Day Unto Day (Paperback)
Martha Collins offers haunting reflections on time and other subjects in Day unto Day, a spare and subtle seventh collection. The book consists of six sequences: during one month each year, for six years, Collins wrote a short poem each day. With perfectly distilled lines, she captures the aching, liminal beauty of one day becoming another -- the slow burn of time passing, the ambiguity of an "old / new leaf" turning over, even as she collages a wide range of material that includes often disturbing news of the world. Writing in the tradition of poetic meditation, Collins shows us the full degree of her mastery -- a mature voice, poems with tremendous scope, and lines exceptionally controlled. Here is the work of a seasoned poet at the height of her career.
About the Author
Martha Collins is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently White Papers, and Blue Front. She has also published three books of co-translations from the Vietnamese: Ngo Tu Lap's Black Stars, Nguyen Quang Thieu's The Women Carry River Water, and Lam Thi My Da's Green Rice. Collins founded the Creative Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and for ten years she was Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College. Currently editor-at-large for FIELD and an editor for Oberlin College Press, she lives in Cambridge, MA.
Advance Praise for Day Unto Day
"Reading Day Unto Day is like listening in on the meditations of a nimble, restless mind hurtling through time. These poetic sequences can't help but engage with the idea of time, with the immediacy of the past in our livesbut they are also much more than this. Here, Martha Collins delves into the shiftiness of gender, the power of romantic love, the nature of the divine, the troubles of American national identity, and the certainty of mortality. Musically brilliant, psychologically intricate, movingly humaneMartha Collins is one of our most vital poets."
"Love, parents' dyings and deaths, a beloved's illness, our seasons, and our wars are woven here in fragments of narrative that often break into lyric notes. Notes perhaps of the subconscious, sometimes suggestive, sometimes unsolvable. Maybe not meant to be solved. Notes like little lights which sometimes sound like prayer."
"The author of six poetry collections and three books of cotranslations from the Vietnamese and long a distinguished teacher of creative writing, Collins has earned the right to be meditative about the passage of time. This book collects work done during one month each year, for six years, when Collins wrote a short poem each day."
Praise for Martha Collins
A dazzling poet whose work is poised at the juncture between lyric and ethics, Martha Collins has addressed some of the most traumatic social issues of the 20th century...in supple and complex poems. Those who have followed Collins’s books have long since realized that no subject is off-limits for her piercing intellect.
Cynthia Hogue, AWP Chronicle
"In the very aptly-titled Some Things Words Can Do...the flesh forms an ever-shifting field whose erosion reveals what, for Collins, has always been the case: that language itself is both the most animate and the most trustworthy familiar we are likely to find. While verbal play, characteristically, figures in these poems...what Collins finally suggests here is dead-serious: what words must be made to do, finally, is bring us back to ourselves.”