This Long Winter
Poetry by Joyce Sutphen
Carnegie Mellon University Press, February 2022
This Long Winter contains meditations on life in the rural world: reflections on hard work, aging, and the ravages of time — erasures that Sutphen attempts to ameliorate with her careful attention to language. These poems move us from delight in precise description to wisdom and solace in the things of this world. These modern metaphysical poems are rooted in a love that calls to the things of this world (to steal a line from Richard Wilbur). Noticing its details, the snowflakes, clementines, the lilies, the cardinal’s call, is the key for this momentary stay against time that comes at us in a rush. The many mirror images in these poems of the poet in a window looking out but simultaneously reflecting back point to the complexity and hard, loving work of really living in the world.