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Dark Energy
Cover of Dark Energy
Dark Energy
Poems
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A new collection from the awardwinning poet and author of the bestselling novel Gap Creek
In the words of Poetry magazine, Robert Morgan's poems "shine with beauty that transcends locale." The work in his newest collection, rooted in his native Blue Ridge Mountains, explores the mysteries and tensions of family and childhood, the splendors and hidden dramas of the natural world, and the agriculture that supports all culture. Morgan's voice is vigorous and exact, opening doors for the reader, finding unexpected images and connections. The poems reach beyond surfaces, to the strange forces inside atoms, our genes, our heritage, and outward to the farthest movements of galaxies, the dark energy we cannot explain but recognize in our bones and blood, in our deepest memories and imagination.
A new collection from the awardwinning poet and author of the bestselling novel Gap Creek
In the words of Poetry magazine, Robert Morgan's poems "shine with beauty that transcends locale." The work in his newest collection, rooted in his native Blue Ridge Mountains, explores the mysteries and tensions of family and childhood, the splendors and hidden dramas of the natural world, and the agriculture that supports all culture. Morgan's voice is vigorous and exact, opening doors for the reader, finding unexpected images and connections. The poems reach beyond surfaces, to the strange forces inside atoms, our genes, our heritage, and outward to the farthest movements of galaxies, the dark energy we cannot explain but recognize in our bones and blood, in our deepest memories and imagination.
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    • CONTENTS

    • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    ONE

    Big Talk

    When mountains boomed and boomed again

    returning echoes all along

    the chain, the Indians said the peaks

    were talking to each other in

    the idiom that mountains use

    across the mighty distances,

    with giant syllables and rests.

    White hunters feared it might be guns

    or even cannon natives had

    somehow acquired to warn them from

    the better hunting grounds and streams,

    the blasts as loud as thunder on

    the clearest days and coldest nights.

    Geologists would later hold

    the groans and barks inside the ridge

    were shelves of massive, restless rock

    that slipped or dropped far down within

    the mountain's guts, a fracture or

    a crashing at some fault as part

    of the tectonic conversation

    among the continents as old

    as planet earth or starry birth,

    the gossip of creation's work.

    Big Bone Lick

    At Big Bone Lick the first explorers

    found skeletons of elephants they said,

    found ribs of woolly mammoths,

    tusks of mastodons and ribs of sloths

    that lurched across Kentucky once

    near twenty feet from snout to tail.

    They dug out teeth the size of bricks

    and skulls of giant bison, beavers.

    In salty mud licked bare by elk

    and deer and buffalo and bears

    for ten millennia, the bones

    seemed wreckage from a mighty dream,

    a graveyard from a golden age,

    or killing ground of titans. Here

    they saw the ruins of a world

    survived by its diminutives,

    where Eden once gave way and shrank

    to just a regular promised land

    to fit our deadly, human scale.

    Jaguar

    Where Lawson, Bartram, others wrote

    they saw a "tiger" in the hills

    and woods of Carolina I

    assumed they meant a panther or

    a bobcat, never guessed there were

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2015

    Author of the novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Pick, Morgan writes poetry grounded in the natural world and particularly the very earth of his native Blue Ridge Mountains. (His most recent poetry collection, 2011's Terroir, attests to that.) In heartfelt, plainspoken language, his book proceeds through four sections. The first reflects largely on past natural history, explaining that of booming tectonic shifts "the Indians said the peaks/ were talking to each other in/ the idiom that mountains use/ across the mighty distances" and that with the death of the large land mammals "Eden ...shrank/ to just a regular promised land/ to fit our deadly, human scale." The second section sweetly contemplates childhood ("All would be possible if I/ just got beyond the garden fence, / ...beyond my languor" and the third the splendors of nature, from seeds to sleet to hawks. The fourth is more conjectural, reflecting on the noble metals' "beauty, bright and sterile/ like everything immortal," for instance, and how the sound of hammering next door eventually creates a home. VERDICT Morgan isn't here to break ground (at least metaphorically) but to provide the pleasures of good, old-fashioned poetry, which he certainly does.--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Dark Energy
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Poems
Robert Morgan
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