Today's poem is "A Tenderness Like Knives"
from Backyard Alchemy

University of Tampa Press

Lance Larsen has published two previous collections of poetry: Erasable Walls (1998) and In All Their Animal Brilliance (2005), winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. His work appears widely and has been republished in The Pushcart Book of Poetry, Best American Poetry 2009, and elsewhere. In 2007 he received an NEA fellowship. He teaches at Brigham Young University and is married to mixed-media artist Jacqui Larsen.

Other poems by Lance Larsen in Verse Daily:
May 6, 2005:  "The Shapes Sadness Can Take" ""A boy on his back staring past smokestacks..."

Books by Lance Larsen:

Other poems on the web by Lance Larsen:
Five poems
"Not Necessarily at Rest"

About Backyard Alchemy:

"This book may save your life. You will learn something you will need to know with each poem you read in Lance Larsen's Backyard Alchemy, which is firmly set in the soil of self and sensibility. You will come to agree that 'to live is to revise' that air is 'a blue field waiting for song.' This is one of those rare volumes filled with meaningful metaphor and plain sense that in your lifetime you will want to read again and again for the pure love of living it evokes and for the poetry and the knowing it holds."
—Jim Barnes

"'Scrape the iced windshield with a library card,/ doodle love notes on a funeral program' writes Lance Larsen in his fine poem, 'Bribing the Lake.' 'We improvise and re-purpose, and some afternoons / prove that the best use of Hegel in leather / is to prop open a window.' Backyard Alchemy props open any number of unexpected windows in unexpected ways, and many of the poems provide such charming minute-by-minute instances of 'improvisation' and genuine 're-purposing' that we're often taken by surprise by their weight and depth."
—Jacqueline Osherow

"It's not easy to thank Mary Magdalene AND Orpheus in the same breath, but knowing that you want to do so may be half the battle. Lance Larsen is a meditative poet who knows that the paradoxes of being human won't go away, since each of us is a sadness machine without an owner's manual. There's help for us in Larsen's gentle humor, reminding us that even as we push our grocery carts along the aisle of Perishables, we can whisper 'Get my swan costume ready.'"
—Mark Halladay

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