Today's poem is "For Lysa, That She May Rise Early"
from On Foot, in Flames

The University of Pittsburgh Press

Robert McDowell is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Quiet Money and The Diviners. The editor of Poetry After Modernism and Cowboy Poetry Matters, he is also the founding publisher and editor of Story Line Press. His poems, essays, and stories appear in a variety of publications, both here and abroad. These include London Magazine, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The New Criterion, and The American Scholar, among many others.

Working in the narrative tradition of Robinson, Frost, and Jeffers, Robert McDowell is a leading figure in the expansive poetry movement. His narrative poems deliver the depth and complexity of a novel with a cinematic swiftness. They are accessible, graceful, spiritual without pretension, inhabited by characters tethered to the world.

About On Foot, in Flames:

"On Foot, in Flames is filled with loneliness, with the knowledge that 'the world dismantles us,' but it's also prayerful, its music an affirmation that threads through even the narratives of violence and betrayal. This is a religious book in the best sense, fusing matter and spirit, ultimately, achingly human."
—Kim Addonizio

"I am caught up again and again in McDowell's strong narrative line. Whether he is reshaping an old myth or detailing an actual event, this poet is a storyteller at the top of his form."
—Maxine Kumin

"The elegant decorum of McDowell's poems is intimately responsive to their subject, which is how the spirit inhabits the subtle hells and heavens of domestic life. On the surface, these poems seem easy reveries, hymns to family and farm, human yearnings toward God. But they are also an ambitious scrutiny of those subjects, tough-minded and honest."
—Chase Twichell

"Following a trajectory from apocalypse to redemption, Story Line Press founder Robert McDowell's third collection invites readers to go "into the writing where anything/ Can happen." On Foot, in Flames is filled with "a sweet sighing/ From the souls of trees" and "recollection of the days when you/ Surprised yourself with competence, even grace." McDowell appeals to grace in part as a response to violence, as in his depiction of working in a slaughterhouse— "Stitched into gloves and apron,/ Lye-spattered, soaked with grease,/ I feed my machine 1,200 hides a day./ Sometimes I think this was the neck, this the tail"—or in the blank-verse monologues that witness, among other things, violence against women.
Publishers Weekly

"[These] new poems constitute quite an advance....These are more vivid, meatier poems....Very impressive.
—Ray Olson, Booklist

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