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Splitting the Soil

4.80  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Rosemary Royston has claimed her place as a poet, a place rich with memory, family, and voices rising up from the woods and trails of the natural world. Royston can craft poems using traditional form, or she can unwind skeins of free verse as skillfully as any young poet writing today. She listens, she observes, she remembers, and out of that poetic attentiveness she creat ...more
Paperback, 25 pages
Published 2014 by Finishing Line Press
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David Joy
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The whole collection is wonderful, but two poems that won't leave me are "Witness" and "Salve." The lines that haunt me most, though, are from the end of "Salve:" "You smile. You recall // an act you have long forgotten. / Do not move. Stay. / This is prayer."
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this chapbook of poetry by Rosemary Royston. Her work is sometimes edgy, sometimes solemn, sometimes amusing but always impactful. She leaves her readers with images that linger and thoughts that return longer after the little book is closed.

RT Smith
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a great deal of modern poetry anymore. I find much of it bland in form and banal in substance, inessential, esoteric, and self-referencing (not to mention self-reverential). If this fine book is an example of what modern poetry is up to nowadays, perhaps I've missed the proverbial boat entirely. However, I don't think Splitting the Soil is a paradigm of modern verse; I think it is an exemplar.

Spiritual, sassy, smart, and so sure for a first collection, Ms. Royston, as we sometimes s
Emmalee Manes
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This chapbook is filled with gorgeous sensory details, honest feelings, and interesting organization. The thing I appreciate the most is Royston’s authentic poetic voice. She does a lovely job of revealing intimate feelings through the images she creates. The book has a lot of variety within this overarching feeling of nature. Several of the poems describe the feeling of feet in the dirt—which is somehow so relatable. Her poems bring a sort of connection for the reader, both to Royston, and to n ...more
Karen Holmes
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is sumptuous and spiritual, earthy and magical. Royston's sure voice and poetic talent give the readers poems to enjoy and ponder. Many are deeply personal, some are humorous ("Ben Affleck is My Lover"), and many reflect the poet's love of nature, thus the title, Splitting the Soil.

Royston is a sort of modern day "earth mother" with a delightful twist as in the poems "Birthing" and "On the Discovery of Aspirin." Perhaps my favorite stanza is the ending of "Reasons to Go Outside at 4:58
B.L. Aldrich
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Spare, yet exquisitely full. That Royston manages to pack so much into such tiny space is one of the reasons I love good poetry. I love the blend of spirituality, womanhood, and nature in her work. And I'm usually one to find those themes tedious, but not when handled with such confident aplomb. Well done. "Fall Eucharist" was my favorite, but "Pathology," and "Reasons to Go Out at 4:58am in November" are also standouts.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you value clarity and candor, Rosemary Royston is the poet for you. With each poem she discovers a truth of how to live inside a moment of everyday life. Birth, death, soil, a headache—the huge world funnels into a throbbing head, or a gardener’s hands. Call her a 21st century imagist, refracting contradictory thoughts through a crisp lens.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful collection of poetry about what it is to be a woman, a mother, a human being. Rosemary Royston's images are poignant, at times startling, and also humorous. They are full of life.
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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Rosemary’s chapbook, Splitting the Soil, is currently available through Finishing Line Press and amazon. Her poetry has been published in the following: Southern Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Town Creek, *82 Review, KUDZU, Public Republic, Coal Hill Review, Fried Chicken and Coffee, STILL, THIS, Literal Latte, New Southerner, FutureCycle, Dark Sky Magazine, Flycatcher, South ...more

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