In this Book

Princeton University Press
summary

Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land.

This collection also reflects on a long poetic apprenticeship. Smith's father is a poet himself, and Almanac is in part a meditation about the responsibility of the poet, especially the young poet, when it falls to him to speak for what is vanishing. To quote another Illinois poet, Thomas James, Smith has attempted in this book to write poems "clear as the glass of wine / on [his] father's table every Christmas Eve." By turns exhilarating and disquieting, this is a remarkable debut from a distinctive new voice in American poetry.
______

From Almanac:
THE MUMMY IN THE FREEPORT ART MUSEUM

Austin Smith

Amongst the masterpieces of the small-town
Picassos and Van Goghs and photographs
of the rural poor and busts of dead Greeks
or the molds of busts donated by the Art
Institute of Chicago to this dying
town's little museum, there was a mummy,
a real mummy, laid out in a dim-lit
room by himself. I used to go
to the museum just to visit him, a pharaoh
who, expecting an afterlife
of beautiful virgins and infinite food
and all the riches and jewels
he'd enjoyed in earthly life,
must have wondered how the hell
he'd ended up in Freeport, Illinois.
And I used to go alone into that room
and stand beside his sarcophagus and say,
"My friend, I've asked myself the same thing."

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Silo
  2. pp. 5-6
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Queen-Anne’s Lace
  2. p. 7
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Fort-Da
  2. pp. 8-9
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Thistles
  2. p. 10
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Night My Mother
  2. pp. 11-12
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. How a Calf Comes into the World
  2. pp. 13-14
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Lightning
  2. p. 15
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Autumn’s Velocity
  2. pp. 16-18
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Brinkmeiers
  2. p. 19
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Aerial Photograph, Glasser Farm
  2. pp. 20-21
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Dean
  2. pp. 22-23
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Coach Chance
  2. p. 24
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Man Accused of Fucking Horses
  2. p. 25
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Bait Shop
  2. p. 26
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Memoir of My Imaginary Sister
  2. p. 27
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Neon Apotheosis
  2. pp. 28-30
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bingo
  2. pp. 31-32
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Stephenson County Fair in Wartime
  2. p. 33
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Nancy and Dwayne, Danville, Virginia
  2. p. 34
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Romeo and Juliet in the Tomb
  2. pp. 35-36
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Battlefield
  2. pp. 37-38
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Pit
  2. p. 39
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Man Who Poisoned Robert Johnson
  2. p. 40
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Nazi Soldier with a Book in His Pants
  2. pp. 41-44
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Overlord
  2. pp. 45-47
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Hotel
  2. pp. 48-49
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Equation
  2. p. 50
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Resonance
  2. p. 51
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Postcards to Andrew Wyeth
  2. pp. 52-53
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Recollection
  2. p. 54
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Letter to My Father Written in a Bar in Mitchell, South Dakota
  2. p. 55
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. On a Greyhound Bus in America
  2. p. 56
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Mission
  2. p. 57
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Scythe
  2. p. 58
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Mummy in the Freeport Art Museum
  2. p. 59
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Sirens
  2. p. 60
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. A Serious House on Serious Earth
  2. pp. 61-62
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Poem for Les, Homeless
  2. pp. 63-64
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Elegy for Missing Teeth
  2. p. 65
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Directions for How to Use Crest Whitening Strips
  2. pp. 66-67
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Trencher
  2. pp. 68-70
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Instructions for How to Put an Old Horse Down
  2. pp. 71-72
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. The Key in the Stone
  2. pp. 73-74
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Wake
  2. pp. 75-78
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 79-80
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 81-84
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781400848034
Print ISBN
9780691159188
MARC Record
OCLC
966819378
Pages
96
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.