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Spoken among the Trees

By Jeff Gundy

Publication Year: 2007

I am a native but not exactly at home, says the speaker near the end of "The Song of the Weed Witch," a declaration that echoes through Jeff Gundy's Spoken among the Trees. Gundy is restless in body and spirit-and in poetic form-a compulsive explorer through the flatlands of Ohio and Indiana. On one level, he seeks out "the green, astonishing world" abuzz with birds and water and wind through the trees. On another level, he looks to the immediate sensations of nature for spiritual clues, entrances into the realm beyond blue jays and pines. But, as he drolly says in "The Recovery of Imaginary Friends," "The guidebook of holy places lacks directions." Spoken among the Trees may hunger after moments of recognition and release, but not with the chill pallor of pietism. These poems mingle the romantic and ironic; they tell jokes and light up a scene with the flash of an incandescent phrase. Titles offer delights of their own, as in "June Report with Suppressed Geese and Sweatbees," or this collision of the sublime and the mundane, "Soul Travel at the Electric Brew, Goshen, Indiana" (with another statement of Gundy's restless theme: "If I could, I would live everywhere for a little while"). Spoken among the Trees is a book to live with, companionable even as it challenges easy beliefs and resists the overly earnest with a warm wit. Jeff Gundy's intricate and musical poems are wise in their humility, as probing as they are sweetly reasonable.

Published by: The University of Akron Press

Front Matter

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Contents

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pp. v-vii

Damselfly

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pp. xi-xii

I

Fulks Run to Cumberland

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pp. 3-4

Advice for Walkers

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pp. 5-6

Soul Travel at the Electric Brew, Goshen, Indiana

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pp. 7-

The Recovery of Imaginary Friends

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pp. 8-9

Late Psalm

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pp. 10-11

An Hour

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pp. 12-

Interior Colloquy in Glen Helen

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pp. 13-14

Notes toward an Interrogation of Staged Violence

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pp. 15-16

Ode to Luna with Implausible Quotations

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pp. 17-

Astonishing Details of the Universe

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pp. 18-19

The Poet on the Beaver Marsh

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pp. 20-

February Report on Conditions in the Interior

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pp. 21-22

Hum

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pp. 23-24

Where Water Finds an Edge

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pp. 25-

Firefly

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pp. 26-

II

Rules (Observed and Unwritten) for Hot Sundays in the Heart of the Empire

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pp. 29-30

The Vice President for Obscure Relations Rises to Offer Something Resembling an Explanation

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pp. 31-

Meditation on Brilliance, Absinthe, Love, and Power

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pp. 32-33

Tales of Feeble and Bitter Boys

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pp. 34-

What We Said When We Talked All Day

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pp. 35-36

Heresy in Ohio, or What I Learned at Books on Main

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pp. 37-

Note from the Week after Next

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pp. 38-

Signature, or Jonathan Edwards and Joe Walsh Meet in the Electric Brew

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pp. 39-40

When Madonna Met Menno

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pp. 41-

The Visiting Poet Blunders through His Own Assignment

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pp. 42-43

Praise Is a Language

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pp. 44-

Notes toward Local Representation of Complex Linguistic Events

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pp. 45-46

Futurism in the Black Swamp

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pp. 47-48

Structural Adjustments to Maintain Growth Will Be Necessary

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pp. 49-

Letter with Melody and Fall from Chair

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pp. 50-

III

Dark Man Blues

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pp. 55-

The Song of the Weed Witch

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pp. 56-57

June Report with Suppressed Geese and Sweatbees

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pp. 58-59

Some Things of This World

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pp. 60-61

Report on Recent Activities in Austin (Selected)

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pp. 62-63

Small World

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pp. 64-

Day at the Pond without Geese

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pp. 65-66

On the Day I Meant to Leave Town

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pp. 67-68

Lunch Poem at Snow Road

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pp. 69-70

Cuyahoga Rules

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pp. 71-

Settle

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pp. 72-73

Letter to Students Gone for Summer

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pp. 74-

We Go Out Searching for Sermons in Stone

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pp. 75-76

Doorways

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pp. 77-

Contemplation with Ledges and Moon

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pp. 78-80

IV

Alba in Everett, Ohio

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pp. 83-

From the Screen Porch

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pp. 84-

Mountain Dawns

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pp. 85-86

The Music of What Happened

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pp. 87-88

Spring Tractates

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pp. 89-94

Some Lines for Lincoln, O.

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pp. 95-96

“Then in a Wailful Choir the Small Gnats Mourn”

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pp. 97-

Early Walk with Big Willow and Demiurge

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pp. 98-99

Furnace Run, Sunday

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pp. 100-101

Contemplation at the Bar R Ranch

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pp. 102-103

From the Rocks at Dusk

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pp. 104-

Redwing Pond

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pp. 105-

“Night, the Astonishing . . .”

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pp. 106-

Credits

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pp. 107-


E-ISBN-13: 9781937378004
E-ISBN-10: 1937378004
Print-ISBN-13: 9781931968508
Print-ISBN-10: 1931968500

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2007

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

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