For the Sake of the Light

New and Selected Poems

Tom Sexton

Tom Sexton

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

192 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2009
Paper $22.95 ISBN: 9781602230507 Published February 2009
E-book $7.00 to $22.95 ISBN: 9781602231153 Published March 2010

This collection of new and selected poems by the former poet laureate of Alaska, Tom Sexton, opens a door on the essence of life in Alaska and Maine. Sexton divides his year between the two states, and he captures here the small but powerful sensual details of day-to-day life in these contrasting, yet similar, environs. His carefully crafted verse distills the birch and aspen, lynx and ptarmigan, and the snow on high peaks. Through his poems we thrill to experience encounters with the wild, the seasons, and the sublime landscape.

     His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human”—Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review

Contents
New Poems
   Eiders
   Passamaquoddy Bay
   Lubec, Maine
   Night-Herons
   At East Machias
   In Waldo County, Maine
   Crossing the Blueberry Barrens
   A Harvard Millerite Ascends
   Uncle Eli Glover Moving
   The Banishment of Saint Columba
   Trawl
   Arnprior, Ontario
   On the Empire Builder Heading West
   Burial Ground
   The Emperor
   Broad Pass, September
   Cow Parsnip
   Mountain Bluebirds
   Beluga Point
   Cottonwood Seed
   Porcupine
   At the Turning of the Season
   That Other World
   Summer Waterfall
   Butterfly Lake
   Juncos
   Snow Buntings
   Steller's Jay
   Steller's Sea Cow, 1742-1768
   Ursus Maritimus, the Polar Bear
   Driving Toward Nenana
   Cottonwood
   Mountain Lake
   Walking the Marsh
   Mew Gulls
   Snowy Owl
   Looking to the West
   Brown Creeper
   A Necessary Poem
   A Snowy Morning in May
   The Man Who Learned Dena'ina
   Clear and Cold
   Two Ravens in a Tree
   Tugs
   Under Polaris
   Dawson City, Yukon Territory
   Signs of Spring
   Wild Swans
   Saint Lucia's Day
   The Kite Flyers
   Redpolls
   The Iris Hunters
 
from Terra Incognita (1974)
   Terra Incognita
   Uncle Paul
   Astoria
   At Daybreak
   December
 
from Late August on the Kenai River (1991)
   Poolshark
   Anchorage
   Homer
   Trapper Creek
   The Wedding of Cecelia Demidorf
   Compass Rose
   Nikolaevsk
   Saint Marys
   On Reading Wang Wei
   Late August on the Kenai River
   Open Season
   Two Poems for the Solstice
   Harvest
 
from A Bend Toward Asia (1993)
   Kodiak
   Yakutat
   El Dorado
   Chitina
   Gulkana Berry Pickers
   The Princess Line
   Chenega
   Cygnus
   -60
   De Rerum Natura: or Of Nature's Things
   In the Snow
   Ritual
   Waiting for Spring
   Aleutians
   Iris
   Extending the Range
   Springs
   After the August Rains
   Wolves
   Pass Creek
   Hurricane
   Walking to the Beaver Pond with My Wife
   On the Russian River
   The Marsh in Spring
   Sweet Spring Grasses
   Crows on Bare Branches
   Wind
   Muskeg
 
from A Blossom of Snow (1995)
   Naming
   Winter Landscape
   Burnet
   Lin He-Jing
   Towns
   Lament
   King Island
   Beluga
   Pleiades
   Transformations
   Marsh Violets
   Crows
   Homage to Neidecker
   Fiddlehead
 
from Leaving for a Year (1998)
   Thinking of Yu Fu on a Summer Evening
   Leaving for a Year
   Crossing the Divide
   At Feng-Hsiang
   Poem Begun on Mother's Day
   Portage La Prairie
   Melting Snow
 
from Autumn in the Alaska Range (2000)
   On the Death of a Homeless Man
   Rowing Toward the Spirit World
   For Art and Anna on Their Wedding Day
   Spirit Houses at Tazlina
   The Alaska Range
   The Cross Fox
   Rowan Tree
   A Blessing
   Landscape
   A Letter to Tu Fu
   Touch-Me-Not
   Solstice
   In Glacial Light
   The Bear that Visits Our Cabin
   Willow Ptarmigan
   Lynx
   Blue Flag
   Wilson's Warblers
   The Mountains in Winter
   Winter Solstice
   The Gift of Snow
   Winter Finch
   Denali
   Poem About the Moon
   Rising from the Dark
   April
   Poem Written Near Hurricane
   Autumn in the Alaska Range
   Numen
   Paradise Valley
   Setosa
   Epitaph
   For the Sake of the Light
 
from World Brimming Over (2003)
   By an Abandoned Railroad Line
   In the Kitchen
   Butcher Bird
   American Dippers
   Pastoral
   Kinglet
   At Fort Egbert
   Nearing Solstice
   Bohemian Waxwing
   At Dusk
   Teslin Lake, Y.T.
   A Flicker's Nest
   The Mountains
   Blueberries
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