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Land’s End

New and Selected Poems

With her latest poetry collection, Gail Mazur once again shows her mastery of the descriptive-meditative narrative, powerfully evoking the past while writing from the firm ground of the present.

In Land’s End, we see Mazur writing with the kind of lyric authority, ever-deepening emotional range, and intellectual and social scope that her readers have come to expect in her poetry. Beautifully crafted elegies meet with reflections on her own life, her family, and artists who have come and gone. In the title poem, she leads readers through a garden, where new and old growth twists together in an “almanac of inheritances” that conjures the rich memory of poets who have passed on. In this space of remembrance, Mazur also charges us with the responsibility of nurturing art and artists of the future, especially in the face of the disheartening absurdities of contemporary politics. Contemplating the growth and decay so entwined in life, these poems invite us to consider both inevitable brokenness and necessary hope, writing “My work now: to continue learning to absorb the loss, / and live.”

Through tidal creeks and the weightless scenes of ukiyo-e woodcuts, in artists’ studios and along the frozen Charles River, Mazur connects passionately with the world around her. Carrying with her the undeniable presence of loss and of time past, she engages deeply with the present, her historic memory informing a deep concern for contemporary life. Reading Land’s End, we find ourselves with the poet:
as if here at land’s end, here on the coast, urgent,
together we’d have energies to do battle forever.
           As if we could rescue the guttering world….

224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2020

Phoenix Poets



"In this comprehensive volume, Mazur demonstrates a remarkable mastery of poetic technique as she depicts human relationships in all of their ambiguities. . . . Here, as elsewhere, the speaker boldly and sensitively proclaims her own lack of understanding. It is this vulnerability, equipped and complemented with extensive erudition, that makes Mazur’s poems as poignant as they are accomplished in their craft."

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"In her honed and arresting new collection of poetry, Land’s End, Gail Mazur rightly observes that the sycamores along Memorial Drive in Cambridge do something different than the showy blaze of other trees in fall, 'patterning the road and the old river/with their own kind of darkness and light.' . . . In these new and  selected poems, Mazur, who lives in Cambridge and Provincetown, writes with sensual specificity of the Cape, its mussels and sand flats and sandpipers, a hummingbird moth, turnips grown in Eastham, the humble and sublime."

Nina MacLaughlin | The Boston Globe

"In Land’s End, Mazur has done the hard work, building a palette of primal elements, the metaphors of place — gulls, sand, pebbles worn by tides — to express the yearnings of mortality."

Provincetown Independent

"Before I had received Gail Mazur’s Land’s End, it had already been praised to me as an artifact, a book that looks and feels handsome. In this day of cookie-cutter template publication and undistinguished design, that’s already a quality to celebrate, and not simply incidental to the poet’s own work."

Jim Kates | Arts Fuse

Table of Contents


New Poems
Hall Mirror
At 4 A.M.
That Was Then
My American Poem
At Land’s End
Walking Barefoot, August
The Conversation
End of Summer
Eastham Turnips, November
Rest Stop
The Breakwater
Josef Albers
The High Line
There Came a Time
Blue Work Shirt
Early Morning Walks
More, More
from Forbidden City (2016)
Mount Fuji
Forbidden City
My Studio
Believe That Even in My Deliberateness I Was Not Deliberate
On Jane Cooper’s “The Green Notebook”
Philip Guston
The 70s
Elephant Memory
To the Charles River
We Swam to an Island of Bees
Instance of Me
The Self in Search of the Sublime
Family Crucible

from Figures in a Landscape (2011)
Figures in a Landscape
The Age
To the Makers
Borges in Cambridge, 1967
To the Women of My Family
History of My Timidity
Dear Migraine,
Isaac Rosenberg
Inward Conversation
Concordance to a Life’s Work

from Zeppo’s First Wife (2005)
Blue Umbrella
The Mission
Dana Street, December
Zeppo’s First Wife
Seven Sons
American Ghazal
Rudy’s Tree

from They Can’t Take That Away from Me (2001)
Five Poems Entitled “Questions”
Michelangelo: to Giovanni da Pistoia When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel
Maybe It’s Only the Monotony
Young Apple Tree, December
I Wish   I Want   I Need
The Weskit
Girl in a Library
Air Drawing

from The Common (1995)
I’m a Stranger Here Myself
In Houston
Whatever They Want
Poem for Christian, My Student
Poem Ending with Three Lines of Wordsworth’s
Bedroom at Arles

from The Pose of Happiness (1986)
The Horizontal Man
Reading Akhmatova
Hurricane Watch
Fallen Angels
Listening to Baseball in the Car
To RTSL, 1985

from Nightfire (1978)

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