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The Lesser Fields
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Winner of the 2009 Colorado Prize for Poetry

"Schlegel's debut, winner of the 2009 Colorado Prize for Poetry, presents a stark, haunted landscape, as expansive as it is lonesome and yet quietly inviting. It's a world where the mind projects its solitude onto nature while nature returns the favor. 'Here and not here,' says Schlegel, 'I breath away/ the parts of myself I no longer require. /A lost lover knits with the natural world after death (Tonight, her name is a leaf covering/ my left eye. The right I close/ for the wind to stitch shut with thread/ from the dress she wore into the grave/ where the determined roots of the tree/ are making a braid around her body);/ elsewhere another lover is able to /fill the bath with everything that has/ Or could ever happen between us,/ imbuing everyday domestic tasks like bathing with symbolic portent in language both straightforward and seductive. A series of haiku-like /November Deaths ekes out little truths (/But for the tip of land/ At which the vessel is aimed/ There is nothing to steady its course/) and another series of Lives asks, in various ways, /Toward what am I drawn?/ Answers are everywhere in this promising first book."—Publisher's Weekly

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. The Lesser Fields
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. Economy of Winter
  2. p. 3
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  1. Ontogeny
  2. p. 4
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  1. With Shut Eyes What My Mind Sees Does Not Belong to Me
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. Icicles Tine Barnward from the Barn’s Shallow Eave
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. I Pack Her Suitcase with Sticks, Light the Tinder, and Shut the Lid
  2. p. 9
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  1. Illuminated Face
  2. p. 10
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  1. Near the Creek Emptied of Water
  2. p. 11
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  1. Dusk by Flame
  2. p. 12
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  1. Allies
  2. p. 13
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  1. Lovemaking in America
  2. p. 14
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  1. Secrets Objects Share
  2. p. 15
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  1. Economy of Winter 2
  2. p. 16
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  1. People Live Here
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. The Lesser Fields
  2. p. 19
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  1. November Deaths
  2. pp. 21-28
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  1. The Snow Uncut Is a Field of Orphans
  2. p. 23
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  1. She Drops Each Suture from Her Stomach into the Vase on Her Bedside Table
  2. p. 24
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  1. A Boy Is Kicking the Stomach of a Dog
  2. p. 25
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  1. From a Sheet of Yellow Paper I Cut Bolts of Lightning
  2. p. 26
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  1. The Lark’s Call Is Smaller than the Field
  2. p. 28
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  1. Lives
  2. pp. 29-52
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  1. Lives of Daughter
  2. p. 31
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  1. Lives of Greta
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. Lives of Tree
  2. p. 34
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  1. Lives of Name
  2. p. 35
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  1. Lives of Furrow
  2. p. 36
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  1. Lives of Son
  2. p. 37
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  1. Lives of Empire
  2. p. 38
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  1. Lives of West
  2. p. 39
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  1. Lives of Odin
  2. p. 40
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  1. Lives of Lake
  2. p. 41
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  1. Lives of Horse
  2. p. 42
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  1. Lives of Animal
  2. p. 43
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  1. Lives of Method
  2. p. 44
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  1. Lives of Morandi
  2. p. 45
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  1. Lives of Rot
  2. p. 46
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  1. Lives of Modrow
  2. p. 47
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  1. Lives of Nathan
  2. p. 48
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  1. Lives of Cloth
  2. p. 49
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  1. Lives of Forest
  2. p. 50
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  1. Lives of Raft
  2. p. 51
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  1. Lives of Estuary
  2. p. 52
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 53
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. 54
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