Today's poem is "Egret"
from Naming the Constellations

Spring Street Editions

John Thomas York was born in Winston-Salem in 1953 and grew up in Yadkin County in northwestern North Carolina. He was educated at Appalachian State, Wake Forest, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has also been a Mellon Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well a recipient of the fellowships from the Council for Basic Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For over thirty years he has taught English in the public schools. In 2003 he was named Teacher of the Year by the North Carolina English Teachers Association. He and his wife, Jane McKinney York, live in Greensboro, where they raised three daughters, Elizabeth, Kathryn and Rachel.

Books by John Thomas York:

About Naming the Constellations:

"These poems by John Thomas York recall to vivid life a mode of existence that has well nigh disappeared. His pliant lyricism is born from a deep love of country things, country people, and the country itself in the widest meaning of that term. It is a country the poet says he did not return to, 'for the land lives in me, the kingdom come.' That's true—and what a grand kingdom it is!"
—Fred Chappell

"Ever mindful of natural wonders, rooted in the realities of a country boyhood whose shaping influence resounds through every line, and suffused with a melancholy that is never morbid or self-pitying, this little book contains more real poetry than most full-length volumes I have read of late. Naming the Constellations offers rare gifts: the cadence of a voice that never tires the ear, and the eye of a man accustomed to seeing the glow around common things."
—Mark Smith-Soto

"While the poems of Naming the Constellations have their feet firmly planted 'between young corn and shining gravel,' they are always gazing beyond, to 'the Big Dipper's cup, over to Polaris, the penny nail on which the Little Dipper swings.' These poems, while rooted in their narrator's rural upbringing, also 'dream through the years,' so they are simultaneously elegy and celebration. This is a strong collection that will reward many readings."
—Al Maginnes

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