The Honey of Earth


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Terrapin Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.22 inches | 0.32 pounds

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About the Author

David Graham is a shirt collector and Rangers historian.
Diane Lockward is the editor of three earlier craft books: The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics (Terrapin Books, 2018), The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop (Terrapin Books, 2016), and The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Terrapin Books, rev. ed., 2016). She is also the author of four poetry books, most recently The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement (Wind Publications, 2016). Her awards include the Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and a Woman of Achievement Award. Her poems have been included in such journals as the Harvard Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry. She is the publisher of Terrapin Books.


Reading David Graham's The Honey of Earth, I felt my heart break and then mend almost at once. Graham sees and strikes the sweet spot between pathos and comedy: in tone, in imagery, in how precisely he nails the complex absurdities and ironies of American life, including his own life. Considering the objects in a junk shop, he writes "you can almost see how every miserable / doo-dad was once someone's luminous dream," or, in an elegy he juxtaposes "ashes in a box" with "ashpits smoking in backyards, rest stop tiles / smeared with grease and cracker crumbs." There's the ride up the scale, and the drop down, but overall, an exuberance born of a love of life, of Earth, of art, of real or imagined others, of America itself. The poems are taut and economical yet balanced with felicities of phrasing and figurations: In this way as well, with consummate skill, Graham finds the sweet spot. --Gray Jacobik

There I was, getting all set to cough up the usual clever blurb, when suddenly I thought, "The hell with that! This is simply the best damned book of poems I have read in years!" Dear Reader, if you think I say so because David Graham was one of my earliest and favorite students, well, you're wrong. That his name is not up there with the many luminaries to which he is patently superior--well again, that says more about the sad state of elite tastes than it does about this brilliant writer. --Sydney Lea