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Hammered Dulcimer

Lisa Williams

Publication Year: 1998

Lisa William's poems are infused with what John Hollander calls "a guarded wonder." A poet of unique vision, she seems always to be "looking at," with special attention to the experience of the senses. Moreover, Williams is equally concerned with epistemology—the how of seeing. And it is perhaps this quality of attention that informs her interest in the formulations of poetry itself, in its constructed dimension. Her control of the line, of rhythmic possibilities, of structures both formal and free, is evident in every poem. Together, William's original voice and her poetic finesse allow her to create those harmonies of wonder evoked by the very instrument, the hammered dulcimer, that gives her collection its name. Judge for the 1998 May Swenson Poetry Award was John Hollander, poet, critic, professor. Long a major figure in American letters, Hollander was a personal friend to May Swenson, and has influenced the work of many of our best emerging poetic voices.

Published by: Utah State University Press

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Foreword by John Hollander

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pp. xi-xii

Lisa Williams's poems often start out in song and end in epistemology, but they frequently break out into a kind of humming in the course of walking their self-generated routes. They manifest a fine ear for not only the rhythms of verse in English but for those of the argument that makes them. She can deploy, as in the poem and the ...

The Direction of Shadow

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pp. 5-6

Sunday Morning

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pp. 7-8

Interruption of Flight

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pp. 9-10

Yellow Bird

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p. 11-11

What the Wind Said to the Girl Who Was Afraid

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p. 12-12

The Fall

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p. 13-13

The Tenderness: for Neil

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p. 14-14

The Hammered Dulcimer

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pp. 15-16

Complaint

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p. 17-17

Eve, After Eating

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p. 18-18

Man Walking

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p. 19-19

Black Horses

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p. 20-20

The Growth

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p. 21-21

Manners, 1977

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pp. 22-23

A Spider

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p. 24-24

The Man by the River

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p. 25-25

Banquet

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pp. 26-27

To Night

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p. 28-28

On the Nature of Beauty

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pp. 29-30

Romantic Relief

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p. 31-31

Negation

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p. 32-32

Landscape

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pp. 33-34

A Wind in Place: after Stevens

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p. 35-35

Crater

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pp. 36-37

On a Worm Descending a Thread

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pp. 38-39

A Story of Swans

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pp. 40-42

God Put the Noose Around My Neck

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pp. 43-44

The Grasshopper

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pp. 45-46

The End of Spring

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pp. 47-48

In the Abstract

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pp. 49-50

Ambivalence

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p. 51-51

The Chant

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pp. 52-53

A Forward Spring

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p. 54-54

Rattlesnake

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pp. 55-56

In the Valley

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p. 57-57

After a Line of Plato

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pp. 58-61

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Acknowledgments

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p. 62-62

Thanks are due to the editors of the following journals in whose pages some of these poems appeared: “Rattlesnake” in Crazyhorse; “The Growth” and “What the Wind Said to the Girl Who Was Afraid” in Virginia Quarterly Review; “Eve, After Eating” and “The Fall” in Raritan. Thanks also to editors who published earlier work in the ...

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About the Author

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p. 63-63

Lisa Williams was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1966. after receiving a B.A. degree from Belmont University in 1989, she was awarded an Elliston Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where she graduated with an M.A. in Literature in 1992. In 1993, she was awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of ...

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About the May Swenson Award

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pp. 77-78

The May Swenson Poetry Award was named for May Swenson, and honors her as one of America’s most provocative, insouciant, and vital poets. During her long career, May published eleven volumes of poems, and she was loved and praised by writers from virtually every major school of poetry. She left a legacy of nearly fifty years of writing when she died in 1989. ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780874213195
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874212488

Publication Year: 1998

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