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House and Garden

P00772
P00772
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House and Garden

John Engels

What happened to Adam and Eve after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden? In John Engels’ beautiful new collection of poetry, House and Garden, they move to a town resembling Burlington, Vermont, and set up a home, complete with a deck and garden. In their new location, they continue to pursue the task of naming creation, with varying degrees of diligence and introspection.

In this series of richly textured monologues, Adam and Eve don’t know quite how to speak to one another, though each remains obsessed with the other. Individual poems reflect their innermost thoughts as they go about the business of living through changing seasons and deep feelings of loss and yearning. Moving back and forth between the voices of Adam and Eve in a world now prey to time, change, and death, Engels’ poems explore how the movement of seasons reflects nature’s tendency to move independent of any human effort at order through the act of naming.

House and Garden brims with the unforgettable imagery of “great flowers of the garden alive to the memory of light,” “the yellow dust of a dry sun,” “nights like breath stopping,” “the muddy fires of the Torment,” and “the dense quiet of an October rain.” This eloquent volume enlivens the senses as much as it challenges heart, mind, and spirit.

“Who but John Engels can make us ‘dance awobble / on the great circle of the ecliptic’? He’s a poet of such power that the very planet itself whispers its secrets in his ear.” —David Huddle

“I can think of no other poet writing today who can more tangibly describe the living world or express the joys and sorrows of living in it than John Engels.” —R. H. W. Dillard

“I had a hand in the publication of John Engels’s first book of poetry more than three decades ago. I thought then that he should receive honors and prizes for his work. Now with a publication of a tenth book of his poetry, I feel this even more strongly. His is an enduring, sonorous gift to American literature. We are fortunate that he has kept the faith in our tone deaf age. Bravo!” —Paul Zimmer

“It is a pleasure to read John Engels’ House and Garden. I have long regarded him as one of the best American poets of his generation. Engels’ capacity to amalgamate lyricism, craft, intelligence, and spirituality, all in the interest of creating a humanizing and humanized document, radiates in House and Garden, which should be a model for contemporary letters.” —Sydney Lea

“With passion and precision, John Engels articulates a great love affair with what we know of life—and exile—in the east of Eden. He holds these poems ‘at the poise of limit’ in order to examine what is most human: our ability to love in an imperfect world, our impulse to name—which originates in loss, and especially our ‘habitable’ silences.” —Judith Kitchen

“Who but John Engels can make us ‘dance awobble / on the great circle of the ecliptic’? He’s a poet of such power that the very planet itself whispers its secrets in his ear.” —David Huddle

“I can think of no other poet writing today who can more tangibly describe the living world or express the joys and sorrows of living in it than John Engels.” —R. H. W. Dillard

“I had a hand in the publication of John Engels’s first book of poetry more than three decades ago. I thought then that he should receive honors and prizes for his work. Now with a publication of a tenth book of his poetry, I feel this even more strongly. His is an enduring, sonorous gift to American literature. We are fortunate that he has kept the faith in our tone deaf age. Bravo!” —Paul Zimmer

“It is a pleasure to read John Engels’ House and Garden. I have long regarded him as one of the best American poets of his generation. Engels’ capacity to amalgamate lyricism, craft, intelligence, and spirituality, all in the interest of creating a humanizing and humanized document, radiates in House and Garden, which should be a model for contemporary letters.” —Sydney Lea

“With passion and precision, John Engels articulates a great love affair with what we know of life—and exile—in the east of Eden. He holds these poems ‘at the poise of limit’ in order to examine what is most human: our ability to love in an imperfect world, our impulse to name—which originates in loss, and especially our ‘habitable’ silences.” —Judith Kitchen

ISBN: 978-0-268-03057-5
104 pages
Publication Year: 2001

John Engels (1931–2007) is the author of ten volumes of poetry and was professor of English at St. Michael’s College. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he garnered numerous awards for his poetry, including being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Engels was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and was a Rockefeller Foundation resident at Bellagio. His poems have appeared in the Nation, the New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications.

“Engels has shown himself to be a thrillingly precise poet of domestic nature…. [H]ere he informs that capability with a theology of the word.” -Booklist, October 1, 2001

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House and Garden

John Engels

 House and Garden
Paper Edition
Cloth Edition

What happened to Adam and Eve after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden? In John Engels’ beautiful new collection of poetry, House and Garden, they move to a town resembling Burlington, Vermont, and set up a home, complete with a deck and garden. In their new location, they continue to pursue the task of naming creation, with varying degrees of diligence and introspection.

In this series of richly textured monologues, Adam and Eve don’t know quite how to speak to one another, though each remains obsessed with the other. Individual poems reflect their innermost thoughts as they go about the business of living through changing seasons and deep feelings of loss and yearning. Moving back and forth between the voices of Adam and Eve in a world now prey to time, change, and death, Engels’ poems explore how the movement of seasons reflects nature’s tendency to move independent of any human effort at order through the act of naming.

House and Garden brims with the unforgettable imagery of “great flowers of the garden alive to the memory of light,” “the yellow dust of a dry sun,” “nights like breath stopping,” “the muddy fires of the Torment,” and “the dense quiet of an October rain.” This eloquent volume enlivens the senses as much as it challenges heart, mind, and spirit.

“Who but John Engels can make us ‘dance awobble / on the great circle of the ecliptic’? He’s a poet of such power that the very planet itself whispers its secrets in his ear.” —David Huddle

“I can think of no other poet writing today who can more tangibly describe the living world or express the joys and sorrows of living in it than John Engels.” —R. H. W. Dillard

“I had a hand in the publication of John Engels’s first book of poetry more than three decades ago. I thought then that he should receive honors and prizes for his work. Now with a publication of a tenth book of his poetry, I feel this even more strongly. His is an enduring, sonorous gift to American literature. We are fortunate that he has kept the faith in our tone deaf age. Bravo!” —Paul Zimmer

“It is a pleasure to read John Engels’ House and Garden. I have long regarded him as one of the best American poets of his generation. Engels’ capacity to amalgamate lyricism, craft, intelligence, and spirituality, all in the interest of creating a humanizing and humanized document, radiates in House and Garden, which should be a model for contemporary letters.” —Sydney Lea

“With passion and precision, John Engels articulates a great love affair with what we know of life—and exile—in the east of Eden. He holds these poems ‘at the poise of limit’ in order to examine what is most human: our ability to love in an imperfect world, our impulse to name—which originates in loss, and especially our ‘habitable’ silences.” —Judith Kitchen

“Who but John Engels can make us ‘dance awobble / on the great circle of the ecliptic’? He’s a poet of such power that the very planet itself whispers its secrets in his ear.” —David Huddle

“I can think of no other poet writing today who can more tangibly describe the living world or express the joys and sorrows of living in it than John Engels.” —R. H. W. Dillard

“I had a hand in the publication of John Engels’s first book of poetry more than three decades ago. I thought then that he should receive honors and prizes for his work. Now with a publication of a tenth book of his poetry, I feel this even more strongly. His is an enduring, sonorous gift to American literature. We are fortunate that he has kept the faith in our tone deaf age. Bravo!” —Paul Zimmer

“It is a pleasure to read John Engels’ House and Garden. I have long regarded him as one of the best American poets of his generation. Engels’ capacity to amalgamate lyricism, craft, intelligence, and spirituality, all in the interest of creating a humanizing and humanized document, radiates in House and Garden, which should be a model for contemporary letters.” —Sydney Lea

“With passion and precision, John Engels articulates a great love affair with what we know of life—and exile—in the east of Eden. He holds these poems ‘at the poise of limit’ in order to examine what is most human: our ability to love in an imperfect world, our impulse to name—which originates in loss, and especially our ‘habitable’ silences.” —Judith Kitchen

ISBN: 978-0-268-03057-5

104 pages

“Engels has shown himself to be a thrillingly precise poet of domestic nature…. [H]ere he informs that capability with a theology of the word.” -Booklist, October 1, 2001