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Half/Mask

By Roger Mitchell

Publication Year: 2007

In Half/Mask, Roger Mitchell goes in search of the magic that remains when the world is stripped down to “an inhospitable beauty.” Many of these starkly lyrical poems explore the human and natural communities found on tundra and borrow freely from the great narrative and sculptural traditions of the Inuit and other rugged people who have learned to live intensely under challenging conditions. Whether in the High Arctic or in different places “where human life . . . has a loose fit,” Mitchell discovers a land rich in imagery and metaphor for describing experience at a fundamental level, out at the edge of what we can know: “Alone and far away, remote, a step / or two beyond human, real being.” An effort to understand and sympathetically inhabit the earth drives these poems, even in the barren isolation of their settings, and gives to Half/Mask its emotional resonance.

Published by: The University of Akron Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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For Dorian

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...out from behind the masks has come the part that’s not quite human, smooth stone in the river, the part that makes being what it is, fragile...

Contents

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pp. 1-

I

First Mask

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pp. 3-

Sixteen Degrees

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pp. 4-

Thule

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pp. 5-6

Above Bow Lake

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pp. 7-

Dream Seed

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pp. 8-

The Stones at Callinish, Isle of Lewis

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pp. 9-

Museum

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pp. 10-11

Doing Ninety

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pp. 12-

Crocus, Beginning

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pp. 13-

Lichen

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pp. 14-15

Mask on Mask

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pp. 16-

The Deaths of William Braine

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pp. 17-18

White Winged Swarming

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pp. 19-26

The Other Side of the Air

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pp. 27-

You Look Out

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pp. 28-29

In the Art Museum Coffee Shop

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pp. 30-31

Last Three Minutes

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pp. 32-

II

Grise

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pp. 35-52

III

The Story Attaches Itself to Us

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pp. 55-

Driving North through the Middle of the Continentin Late Fall Looking for Snow

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pp. 56-

Utitsialangavik

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pp. 57-58

Mask of the Few Things

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pp. 59-

Whew

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pp. 60-61

Flight of Buntings

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pp. 62-

Reenactment

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pp. 63-

Mouth in a Mouth

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pp. 64-

Beset

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pp. 65-66

Feathers and Fishbone

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pp. 67-68

Center of Gravity Rising

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pp. 69-

Half Mask

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pp. 70-71

When the Stones Revolted

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pp. 72-

Last Summer of the Century

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pp. 73-76

Such Places

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pp. 77-

This Act

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pp. 78-

The Sandhill Cranes Come Back

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pp. 79-80

Notes

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pp. 81-82

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 83-

I would like to thank the editors of the following journals where some of these poems or versions of them were originally published: Amicus Journal (now OnEarth): “The Sandhill Cranes Come Back”; Denver Quarterly: “In the Art Museum Coffee Shop”; 5AM: “Mask on Mask” and “The Other Side of the...


E-ISBN-13: 9781935603863
E-ISBN-10: 1935603868
Print-ISBN-13: 9781931968447
Print-ISBN-10: 1931968446

Page Count: 84
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Akron Series in Poetry
Series Editor Byline: Elton Glaser, Editor

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