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Winter Sky

New and Selected Poems, 1968-2008

Coleman Barks

Publication Year: 2008

As the foremost translator of thirteenth-century mystic poet Jalal Al-Din Rumi, Coleman Barks reaches a devoted, inspired, and ever-widening international audience. Yet the foundation for Barks's work as a translator is his own significant body of work as a poet. Winter Sky offers a selection from Barks's seven previously published books combined with a group of new poems.

Barks's open-hearted, free verse poetry is infused with a joy of the spirit at play with the forms of the world. His journey through life is deeply embedded in his work. The poems spring directly from experience and engage with subjects such as the elation and struggle of having and raising children, grief over the deaths of loved ones, the transition from parent to grandparent, or the changing nature and intensity of desire. Barks's open letter to President Bush, written days before the invasion of Iraq and widely circulated online, is a poetic plea for peace, offering a startling and moving alternative to war.

Whether it is the childhood excitement of being named best athlete at summer camp or the early signs of dementia at the age of seventy, Barks uses the personal to convey the universal. The unique flow of a life is here in poems that are rueful, confused, torn, and grateful, but always informed by Barks's transcendent sense of joy and playfulness.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Some of the new poems here appeared first in the following periodicals: Five Points, Café Review, and The Secret of Salt: An Indigenous Journal. The other poems are from the following books: The Juice (New York: Harper and Row, 1972); New Words...

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Notes in Lieu of Preface

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pp. xv-xviii

In the late 1970s I had a dream of being in a bookstore. On the lefthand counter is a huge open book with raised gold type. It is in all languages—German, Arabic, Cherokee, Chinese—and mixed in with the different alphabets are musical signatures, algebraic signs, figures from physics. It is very beautiful. It is everything. It costs...

2003 – 2008 NEW POEMS

The Center

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pp. 3-5

Extravagance

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pp. 6-7

The Light in Everyone’s Eyes

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p. 8

As the Dew

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p. 9

From There ain’t nothing like it.

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p. 10

On Spirit

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p. 11

FROM SCRAP WOOD MAN (2007)

Guidance We Have Need Of

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p. 17

Reading in Bed

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p. 18

From Notebooks

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p. 19

Wine Poems

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pp. 20-21

The Speed of Consciousness and August 18th

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p. 22

Car Trips

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p. 23

The Return of Professor Dumwhistle

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p. 24

These Winter Skies

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p. 25

Losing It

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pp. 26-30

American College Students Overheard in a Restaurant After I Return from Afghanistan

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pp. 31-32

Just This Once

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pp. 33-37

From Central Asian Sufis and the Nature of the Heart

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pp. 38-42

1978–2002 FROM TENTMAKING (2002)

Tentmaking

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pp. 45-48

Purring

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p. 49

Divination

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p. 50

Book Tour Cure for Talking Too Much in Public

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p. 51

Question

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pp. 52-53

Bill Matthews Coming Along

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p. 54

Black Rubber Ball

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pp. 55-56

Bridge

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p. 57

Luke and the Duct Tape

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pp. 58-61

Whittling

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pp. 62-63

Spring Morning

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p. 64

Light on Leaves

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p. 65

The Ant

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pp. 66-68

Abscission Leaf, Looking into Water

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pp. 69-70

Silo, Spring Violets

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p. 71

The Final Final

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pp. 72-73

Currycombing

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pp. 74-75

Donald Hall Is Falling Down

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pp. 76-77

The Animal

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p. 78

So Close, Not a Foot

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p. 79

Love for Clouds

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p. 80

1971 and 1942

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pp. 81-84

None Other

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p. 85

Fly

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p. 86

Stone

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pp. 87-88

Lard Gourd

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pp. 89-90

The Railing

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p. 91

What We Learn from Literature

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pp. 92-93

These Very Feet

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p. 94

The Look on the Dog’s Face

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p. 95

Grace

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p. 96

Service

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p. 97

The Saint and Sinner Bullshit

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p. 98

Fine Arts Auditorium

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pp. 99-100

Night Train, Southern France

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pp. 101-102

Kingsnake

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p. 103

Driving Back from the Mountains

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pp. 104-105

Straying

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p. 106

Elegy for John Seawright

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pp. 107-112

FROM CLUB: GRAND DAUGHTER POEMS (2001)

No Finale

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p. 115

Club

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p. 116

Wietien

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p. 117

To Make an Ocean

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pp. 118-119

Auspices

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pp. 120-122

Boxkite

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p. 123

Dumb Chess

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p. 124

Glad

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p. 125

In Opening Game Day Traffic

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p. 126

Poetry for Children

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pp. 127-130

FROM GOURD SEED (1993)

A Wish

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p. 133

A Section of the Oconee Near Watkinsville

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p. 134

Buttermilk

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p. 135

The House of the Tibetan Bellmaker

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p. 136

Higdon Cove

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p. 137

The Great Blue Heron

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pp. 138-140

In the Woods, You and I

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pp. 141-142

Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches

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pp. 143-144

A Walk in the Botanical Gardens

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p. 145

Bedclothes

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pp. 146-147

Titty-Bream

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pp. 148-149

Summer Food

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pp. 150-151

Kindling

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p. 152

The Fire

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p. 153

The Wind Today

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p. 154

Orange Circles on Lavender Wings

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pp. 155-156

Let the Door Be Locked

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pp. 157-158

Hymenoptera

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pp. 159-160

Some Orange Juice

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p. 161

WRFC

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pp. 162-164

Walk Soup

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pp. 165-167

Each Peach

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pp. 168-169

The Tree

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pp. 170-173

Audience

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pp. 174-175

Spring Lizards

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p. 176

The Grocery Store

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pp. 177-178

Vigil Notes

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pp. 179-180

New Year’s Day Nap

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pp. 181-185

Darshan Singh and Christian Harmony

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pp. 186-187

Small Talk: Coffee

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pp. 188-189

The Second Mike Poem

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pp. 190-191

Three

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pp. 192-193

Every Evening

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pp. 193-194

The End of the Sentence

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pp. 195-198

The Fucking Grave

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pp. 198-200

Salt

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pp. 200-203

Becoming Milton

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pp. 204-205

Two-Hour Wait in Toronto

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pp. 206-214

Night Creek

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pp. 215-218

An Up-Till-Now-Uncelebrated Joy

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pp. 219-220

These Things, Hereafter

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pp. 221-223

Sleet

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pp. 224-225

The Brain-House

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pp. 226-227

Carolina Silverbells

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pp. 228-229

Fightingtown Creek

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pp. 230-231

Gourd Day

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p. 232

A Hard-Cuss for Gourd Seed

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pp. 233-234

1967–1977 FROM WE’RE LAUGHING AT THE DAMAGE (1977)

Good night.

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p. 237

Snow.

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p. 238

Putting up a bowl, its true resting

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p. 239

A flame is walking

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p. 240

This is how we’d like

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p. 241

FROM NEW WORDS (1976)

Sunbath in May

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pp. 247-248

The Last Rebirth

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pp. 249-250

The Hall Mirror

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pp. 251-252

Sand

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p. 253

New Words

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p. 254

FROM THE JUICE (1972)

Body Poems

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pp. 267-283

Choosing

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pp. 284-285

Goat & Boy

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p. 286

Five Ways Down Stringer’s Ridge

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pp. 287-290

The Literal Snake

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p. 291

The Afterlife

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pp. 292-294

The Oracle

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pp. 295-296

Nickajack Cave

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pp. 297-298

The Finger of Necessity

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p. 299

The Mule

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p. 300

The African Night Adder

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p. 301

The Flag Page

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pp. 302-304

Taking a Nap Underneath My Desk

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pp. 305-307

Keats

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p. 308

The Swim

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p. 309

Notes

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pp. 311-315


E-ISBN-13: 9780820342023
E-ISBN-10: 0820342025
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820332376
Print-ISBN-10: 0820332372

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 826520054
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Winter Sky

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