Today's poem is "Dusk Over Ohio"
from The Book of Ga

Custom Words

Ann Silsbee grew up in Urbana, Illinois, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a child, she visited the Maine farmhouse that her grandmother bought for a song in 1902. A pianist and composer, her musical works have been performed and recorded at home and abroad. Her poems have been published in the Atlanta Review, Seneca Review, Nimrod, and many others, and in a chapbook, Naming The Disappeared, from Vista Periodista. Her book Orioling, from Red Hen Press, won the Benjamin Saltman Award. Married to the physicist Robert Silsbee, and mother of three grown sons with families, she lived in Ithaca, New York; she passed away in August 2003.

About The Book of Ga:

"‘Ga’ is the poet’s Muse (who was the poet’s grandmother), and in The Book of Ga Ann Silsbee has done what I would have thought unsustainable, if not outright impossible. She’s written an imaginative autobiography told through varying points of view. Confusing? As realized by this remarkably skillful poet, not in the least. Here is a narrative, rich in scene, character and history, that possesses all the emotional intimacy and power of deeply-felt, meditative lyrics. Yet to say this is to utter a distorting reduction, for here is so much more . . . Silsbee recreates the textures and nuances of a life lived bravely, compassionately and sensitively. I am haunted by the music of this poet’s lines, humbled by the integrity and generosity of her worldview, inspired by the magnitude of her accomplishment."
—Gray Jacobik

"In rich and affectionate detail The Book of Ga celebrates the life and death of Ann Silsbee’s grandmother who lived in a time that seems longer and longer ago, a time when the names of flowers and plants were commonly known, a time when the world seemed new and fresh, even if it wasn’t paradise. It’s a book of elaborate praise and gratitude for the daily presence of our ancestors, known or unknown, those names and namesakes that stay ‘with us all our lives long.’"
—Michael Collier

"Ann Silsbee prefaces this distinguished collection by telling us that the poems in this book are of an imagined life, the life of her grandmother, Ga. They hope to honor Ga’s ‘real life, which we can never know.’ A telling introduction to this book, Silsbee gives us, then—really we learn about the poet, don’t we—from the details depicted throughout, from the choices Silsbee makes, from what she includes in these poems, and from what she excludes, ultimately—we learn from the real and imagined, from the speaker’s memories, whole and fragmented. These are intimate poems—up close, sensual, observant, smart. Beautifully crafted, Silsbee writes a clear, plainspoken and elegant poem. Her work as a composer and pianist has paid off in this collection. Here, not a wrong note. Here, ‘When cold thickens / look for me // Wherever you are I am // The cup of water / under mountains under ice // … I ooze downhill // When you are thirsty / cup your hands.’"
—Martha Rhodes

Support Verse Daily

    Please support Verse Daily's very generous sponsors:
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home  Archives   Web Monthly Features  About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved