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Alan Birkelbach

New and Selected Poems

Alan Birkelbach

Publication Year: 2007

The State of Texas has honored Texas Poets Laureate for seventy-three years, but much of their work has gone unpublished and unrecognized. In a significant step toward recognizing the achievements of the Texas Poets Laureate, TCU Press will publish a series of the work of the Poets Laureate, with a volume dedicated to each poet. The series begins with the 2005 and 2006 Texas Poets Laureate, Alan Birkelbach and Red Steagall, and will continue through the next five appointments. These beautiful volumes collect the finest work of each individual poet. While a single volume may stand alone as a valuable selection of a poet’s work, the series as a whole will draw their different voices together into a singular poetic expression of Texas. Alan Birkelbach writes of the Texas landscape and its people with conversational ease, a touch that makes his vividness of description shimmer through each poem’s lines, etching them into the reader’s memory. He balances the ordinary and the phenomenal, the factual and the suppositional, the temporal and the eternal, in poems remarkable for their depth of insight. As Billy Bob Hill writes in his introduction to the volume, “Birkelbach can disguise a mosaic of word music in plain sight hidden in conversational English.”

Published by: TCU Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Introduction

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pp. 1-3

Alan Birkelbach: New and Selected Poems is offered as the first book in a continuing line of publications, the TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series. When one thinks of previous state poet laureates, say Vassar Miller and Walter McDonald, the need for this project becomes apparent. I am honored to serve as its first general editor. I...

I. You Should Be Here, Marianne Moore, To Explain This Mystery

The Man Who Mapped Descansos

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pp. 7-8

Hueco Tanks

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pp. 9-

You Should Be Here, Marianne Moore

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pp. 10-

Poetry, Right Here, In The Chute

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pp. 11-

What’s Important, After The Storm

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pp. 12-13

Wet Water

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pp. 14-

Tommy, The Man Who Broke Horses

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pp. 15-16

Signs

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pp. 17-

Rapture

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pp. 18-

Right Before You Leave El Paso

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pp. 19-

No Boundaries

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pp. 20-

Oklahoma Storm

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pp. 21-22

Knowing The Landscape

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pp. 23-

Held for the brief instant forever

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pp. 24-

Fence Duty on the Lazy L

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pp. 25-26

Event, Clarity

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pp. 27-

Bingo parlor, El Paso

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pp. 28-

Coronado Points

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pp. 29-30

El Dia del Muerte

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pp. 31-32

When the Big Rains Came

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pp. 33-

Bewitched

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pp. 34-

Autumn, At The River, After The Train Wreck

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pp. 35-

A Painting Of A Blacksmith

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pp. 36-

As Stone

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pp. 37-

II. One Ultimate Telling Scansion

Falling In

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pp. 41-42

In The Midst, In The Path, In The Passing

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pp. 43-

Finding A Wooden Leg In The Road

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pp. 44-

The Former Poet Laureate Said

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pp. 45-

Drifting

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pp. 46-

Direction

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pp. 47-

The Separation Of The Seasons

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pp. 48-

Eating Or Being Fed

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pp. 49-

A Bowl

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pp. 50-

Así Es La Vida

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pp. 51-

John The Baptist’s Head

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pp. 52-54

Like Rat-Tat-Tat-Marching Clockwork, Pacific, Central, Or Greenwich Mean

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pp. 55-

Lines Written

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pp. 56-57

Nam Et Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

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pp. 58-

On Not Seeing The Lunar Eclipse

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pp. 59-60

On The Path To The Mayan Pyramid

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pp. 61-

The Man Who Didn’t Mean To Take Away My Faith

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pp. 62-

I Know A Woman Who Lives On Harbinger Street

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pp. 63-

Discovering The Murdered Boy

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pp. 64-

Like The Mother Finding Her Daughter’s Baby In A Drawer

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pp. 65-

Painted On A Barn

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pp. 66-

Skeffington’s Daughter

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pp. 67-

Moving The Peruvian Mummies

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pp. 68-

Lines Upon A Tranquil Page Whose Name I Can’t Remember

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pp. 69-

The Wife Of The Lumberjack King

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pp. 70-

Like A Bolt

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pp. 71-

The Cousin Who Saw The UFO

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pp. 72-

Pinocchio

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pp. 73-74

Robert Frost Among The Cannibals

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pp. 75-

Where All Things Are Fixed

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pp. 76-

Vincent Van Gogh Rode with LBJ One Day

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pp. 77-

Setting Oneself On Fire

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pp. 78-

Acknowledgments

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pp. 79-80


E-ISBN-13: 9780875654591
E-ISBN-10: 0875654592
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875653402
Print-ISBN-10: 0875653405

Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 1
Series Title: TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series