Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Deer at Gethsemani: Eclogues

The Deer at Gethsemani: Eclogues by Frederick Smock
Accents Publishing

"Like Virgil's before him, Frederick Smock's eclogues give us the sense of an earned peace in the clear voice of a man at home in the world. These poems are richly allusive, elemental moments of experience and insight. The Deer at Gethsemani is a well-made house of poetry, and it is a true pleasure to spend time in its rooms." - Greg Pape, Author of American Flamingo

Eclogues are a set of pastoral poems, made most famous by the Roman Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid, one of the greatest epic poems in human history.
In Smock's poem VI Cave Hill, both lyrical and rhyming:
Come to the window, look out and see
the road that leads down to the cemetery …
The swans are lovely and mean.
The peacocks beautiful and vain …
The geese have returned again to campus,
to the roof of the library where they make their nest,
where they can look out over Beargrass Creek
and the elms of Creason Park.
XXII is:
The lamps turned on at four
in the afternoon barely glow,
but as the sun goes down
these rooms slowly fill with light
On the surface, these eclogues may seem simple little poems, but delving into the hidden meanings is a strong and powerful undercurrent of lyrical reality.

Frederick Smock is associate professor of English at Bellarmine University, where he received the 2005 Wyatt Faculty Award. He has published four previous collections of poems with Larkspur Press. He is also the author of Craft-talk: On Writing Poems, and Pax Intrantibus: A Meditation on the Poetry of Thomas Merton. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Hudson Review, The Louisville Review, The Merton Journal (UK), Poetry East, Trajectory, and other journals.

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