Temple Cone is the author of three books of poetry: That Singing, which is forthcoming from March Street Press; The Broken Meadow, which received the 2010 Old Seventy Creek Poetry Press Series Prize, and No Loneliness, which received the 2009 FutureCycle Press Poetry Book Prize. He has also published five poetry chapbooks and numerous poems in such journals as Virginia Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, West Branch, and Southern Poetry Review. Awards for his work include the Anne Arundel Country Arts Council “Annie” Award in literary arts, two Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Individual Artist Awards in Poetry, two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes, the Christian Publishers Poetry Prize, and the John Lehman Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Academy Review. An associate professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy, he lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and daughter.
Who’s the fastest marathoner among American poets today? I challenge any poet (one book minimum— consider it your Boston qualifier) to a footrace in 2012-13 for the title of “Fleetest Foot.” Bring your poetic license and your flats and let’s run!
Leafing through Robin Robertson’s ‘version’ of Tomas Tranströmer, The Deleted World, I can’t help but be thankful for the many free translations of poets that Robert Lowell’s Imitations seems still to license. I can’t say I’d want Robertson’s book as the only English version of Tranströmer, but I do love how dearly he wants to evoke Transtromer’s cadences and to create a soundscape that’s admittedly different from Tranströmer’s, but that is vivid in and of itself (thus Tranströmer’s Swedish sjörök becomes Robertson’s Scottish haar in “Autumn Archipelago,” making fog more vivid than it has ever been).
(I think I’m still riding high on Tranströmer’s recognition by the Nobel committee last year. Fifteen years between poets (Szymborska was the previous one, in 1996) is far too long in an era of remarkable work worldwide.)
Thrilled, I am, to be choosing books for fall classes, because it gives me a chance to turn back to the poetry collections that I just can’t forget. Some are like scars, some tattoos, some children, but none of them are going away.
One of the best is Deborah Slicer’s The White Calf Kicks. Local lore, local lingo, and loco loving thread throughout. This is from “Highline Cosmology, Montana”:
I want my dead back.
One springtime my father trucked cattle for slaughter up Sunburst
and rode home with a fat wallet
and me in his lap.
But later when we opened the truck ramp to clean up the slap