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Almanac: Poems: Poems

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"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 poe ...more
ebook, 96 pages
Published September 22nd 2013 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, own
Until Almanac, I never had the pleasure of reading a book of poems written by a fellow MFA workshopper. Reading this book I had a few moments of recognition ("I've seen this one before!"), but mostly these pieces were new to me. Austin's condensed, lyric mode always punched me harder than his narrative one, but the book is a v. healthy mix of styles, topics, and forms. Trying to pick images to quote from my favorite pieces feels like trying to lift a line of knitted fabric from a sweater -- ever ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, sad, haunting pastoral poems; an excellent collection.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
interesting. Fort-Da was pretty special. Also, surprisingly, I enjoyed The Man Accused of Fucking Horses.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As we all know, the best of poetry transcends the immediate to become universal in its scope, not only in terms of its imagery, but also in terms of its essential poetic spirit. Such universality can be found in Austin Smith’s debut collection of poems, entitled Almanac: Poems. Though grounded in the earthy, rugged landscape of the rural Midwest, in keeping with the poetic instincts of his own father, Smith reaches out to the communal human spirit that has so much to do with the mutual sharing o ...more
John  Mihelic
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Smith's poems are flat. Flat like driving through rural Kansas or Missouri or Illinois. Evocative of the rural life, both a desire to escape and a sense of belonging - Like Springsteen before he fully embraced his synthesizer.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some narrative, some lyric poems, mostly about life in small-town or rural Illinois. Beautiful moments, like the last poem about his grandfather. Occasional clunkers like "A Serious House on Serious Earth" where two college kids grow estranged from their hayseed, improvident parents, parents who accidentally sent their children off to Brown and Berkeley, from where they returned as changelings.

Sorry. My pen got loose.
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