Whale Fall: Poems (Hardcover)

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Description


A masterful and moving new volume from a “peerless poet of the natural world” (New York Times Book Review).


Acclaimed as an essential voice of the American Midwest, David Baker expands both his environment and his form in his eleventh collection. Whale Fall is about time, measured in the wingbeats of a hummingbird or the epochs of geological change, and about place, whether a backyard in Ohio or the slopes of a melting glacier.


In the exquisite, musical title poem, a deft hybrid of eco-poetic alarm and intimate narrative, Baker transports us to the deep sea as a single gray whale carcass falls, decays, and is reinhabited by a cosmos of teeming lives. Among the strands of ocean health, microplastics, and related calamities of human disregard, the poet weaves in a personal story of chronic illness. The result is a stirring, confident work, astonishing in its emotional acuity and lyric range.


Each poem in Whale Fall is an echolocation, emitting its music to situate itself among others in the vastness of the world. Amidst climate change and catastrophe, as amidst a blooming viburnum or a viral disease, these poems send their songs across empty spaces of a line, a page, or a continent, to see who is out there, moving in the depths of being.



About the Author


David Baker’s many honors include fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. The recipient of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, Baker teaches at Denison University and lives in Granville, Ohio.

Praise For…


From the shadow of the garfish to the memory of seabed in Ohio sandstone, nothing appears to be too slight or too immense for David Baker’s powers of lyric transformation. In book after eloquent book, his artistry has become more purely his own: pared down to essentials while refining its scope of generous inclusion. Baker’s method, like his subject, is the fine pulse of human encounter: here in its most distillate manifestation.
— Linda Gregerson
Product Details
ISBN: 9781324020639
ISBN-10: 1324020636
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Pages: 112
Language: English