New Poetry from Oyster River!
Published in 2008
LUGAR DE ORIGEN
Place of Origin
Argentinean poet Elena, and Melina, writing from Alaska, represent the antipodes of a mother-daughter relationship. Yet their poems resonate with the intimate interplay and harmonic counterpoint of a Bach two-part Invention. . . . Born from a loving collaboration, Place of Origin is a lovely, singular book.
A tender and savage book, mother and daughter speaking to one another, to history, and to us through the flexible lineage of language, mother tongue and daughter tongue, translating image and time in a beautiful collection.
The butterfly effect
tossed into the wind
your first kiss
will circle the planet
the night breeze
off the river
will change the world
with its touch
The moon has one too
I consulted the oracle
about the big mystery.
An ugly woman in a black overcoat
said, Go back to the beginning.
I wandered for awhile
across deserts and plains,
until I found my bellybutton,
which is also the center.
Now I move again, slowly,
seeking the earth’s.
Published in 2007
GOING AND COMING BACK
A companion to Robert Dunn's Je Ne Regrette Rien.
At the Heart of Things
At the heart of things a little song
has not yet been extinguished.
Sometimes it sounds like a chirp,
sometimes like the brushing of leaves.
At three a.m. the ping of stars
wakes me. The full moon
wading across the lake!
And none to disbelieve.
Published in 2007
JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Poèmes nouveux et retrouvés
A companion to Eizabeth Knies's
Edith Piaf's signature chanson, "Non, je ne regrette rien," celebrates a life that "regrets nothing." It's a fitting title for Robert Dunn's new book.
. . . more
I have wished my words were bread
in this hungry earth, itself a stone
wanting to be bread. Or if the worth
run not that high, a coin
that in the wide almsbasin of a sky
could ring most brave
For three decades Dunn was a familiar figure on Portsmouth streets, a classic flaneur, who never drove a car, got along fine without a telephone or TV for most of his life. His daily stroll to the Athenaeum took him past and into many of Portsmouth's local establishments, where he could be counted on to stop and chat.
Yes, there is humor . . . and poetry of a high order.
— Elizabeth Knies, 2007
Just when might the earth be fair,
its people glad and free?
Which of the explainers
would you want to ask? Not me . . .
(from "Turn toward")
Published in 2007
FACING THE MOON
Poems of Li Bai & Du Fu
A bilingual edition of two of China's greatest poets. Cover art by Xing Jie Chen.
Holyoak's translations achieve a high level of literary excellence while conveying a real sense of the musicality of the originals.
— Jonathan Chaves, George Washington University
The clarity and simplicity Holyoak brings to his translations carry the reader into the profundity and complexity of the originals. Over twelve hundred years disappear and another culture—in no essential way dissimilar to our own—reveals the similarities. Holyoak catches the spirits of China's two greatest poets: "The wine keeps flowing; the moon keeps watch." But the worthiest hallmark of the poets and of the book is sorrow transformed into art.
— Sebastian Barker, Editor of The London Magazine
night caught me unawares.
fill the folds of my gown.
I stagger up
and step on the moon in a stream.
Birds fly home,
most everyone has gone.
— Li Bai
Thinking of my brothers on a moonlit night
War drums sound,
no one dares to travel.
with the cry of a lone wild goose.
Tonight the dew
glows white beneath the moon,
but the brightest moon
shines on the home of our youth.
Now that my brothers
are scattered far and wide
.... drums again,
and rebels on the loose.
— Du Fu
Published in 2006
TO CATCH LIFE ANEW
10 Swedish Women Poets
Many of the poems relate to social currents, but winds from all seasons bear the nuances of culture and language. In Åkesson’s poems, the new social ‘security’ cuts women off from the spontaneity of nature. Margareta Ekström speaks of the storm when candles burn askew, Eva Ström tells the paper boy’s dream of soldiers standing at the road’s edge with their machine guns—some handed out snow for the refugees to quench their thirst, while Elisabeth Rynnel moves further afield to Afghanistan, where in bombed out ruins, There will come a beggar child / naked, lying on his stomach / paddling a small cart / But the shout from his mouth is not heard....
"And why aren't you writing? Write!" Hélène Cixous implores in her article "The Laughter of Medusa." She stated in 1975 that only if women "write their lives" will a new and rebellious text appear that will change the world and history. It is indeed that rebellious text the reader encounters in Eva Claeson's selection of poems by contemporary Swedish women poets.
— From the Introduction by Ia Dübois
. . . The soldiers stood at the edge of the road with their machine gun
Some showed pity and handed out snow
For the refugees to quench their thirst.
Time blind they stared at the white moon.
They saw with alarm that their uniforms had been sewn in 1914
And that they were turning into their own ancestors.
— Eva Ström, The paper boy had fallen asleep
Words disappear like ships at the edge
The sea flows onto land with the sky in tow
Life is pierced with birds flying in formation
When all is still, hear the wing-beat of the days
— Babro Dahlin, Wing-beat of the days
$16 + $3 S&H
Copies available from Oyster River Press or from PSNH, 31 Reservoir Road, Farmington, NH 03835.
THE OTHER SIDE OF SORROW
Poets Speak Out about Conflict, War, and Peace
From the Poetry Society of New Hampshire
 poets speak out... "Innocence does not die at once" begins Tess Baumberger... Responding to those who said 9/11 marked the death of American innocence....The year is 1914, 1948,1963, 2001;.. "There are no still waters...Cain murders Abel,/ and Abel murders Cain" (Hugh Harter).... "I will not dance to your war drum/ I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war drum....This heartbeat is louder/ than death...." (Suheir Hammad).
— Linda Lerner, Small Press Review
Beyond the lochs of the blood of the children of men
beyond the frailty of the plain and the labor of the mountain,
beyond poverty, consumption, fever, agony,
beyond hardship, wrong, tyranny, distress,
beyond misery, despair, hatred, treachery,
beyond guilt and defilement; watchful,
heroic, the Cuillin is seen
rising on the other side of sorrow.
— Sorley MacLean
WALKING TO WINDWARD
Explore, Read Reviews, View all 21 covers, Read Poems, Order
$75 for complete set of 21 chapbooks in 4 volumes (originally $135)!
More Books from Oyster River
Published in 1997
ALONG THE ROADS OF THE UNIVERSE/
POR LOS CAMINOS DEL UNIVERSO
Amor recalls Buenos Aires, New York, L.A., thoughts about the first landing on Mars, the passing of J. Buckminster Fuller, memories of Evita. Eloquent testimony by a keen witness of our times.
Quiero el cielo I want the sky
y la tierra, and the earth
y el pájaro que vuela and the bird that flies
de árbol en árbol from tree to tree
siempre en busca always looking
de ese poquito for that little bit
de felicidad of happiness
que es el amor. . . which is love. . .
from "Quiero," written when doctors were unable to diagnose his son’s serious illness.
Published in 1997
In Crow Milk you will find the unloved, forgotten, unseen, returned to life
. . . in the poet's clear vision: crows, abandoned children . . . Don't you see how it all shines?
— Mekeel McBride, NH poet
At the Edges of Everything, the Children
unloved, unbaptized, unwanted, unfed
the mortal infants of infant mortality,
have returned to this earth embodied as crows.
In limbo, these children learned what to live:
a petty thievery of the promised land.
Steal quietly, little children, the shadows
of crows, black comfort, smallest of vehicles,
beak and wing, raucous voice.
Return to hop around the churchyard lawn,
to further inhabit an indifferent world,
the unchosen wandering the sides of the road,
the shouted at and shot at, solitary in sin.
Left to the fields on the edges of everything,
but always there, crying,
eyes ever upward and wary,
small survivors, newly made in shadow.
Published in 1993
EDGED IN LIGHT
Poems of discovery, of love and loss, of spiritual strength. Portraits like Rembrandt in words, reminiscent of Emily Dickinson. "Loves feather upon the scale yet outweighs death. . . ."
. . . Love's feather on the scale
weighs nothing, I believe,
yet outweighs Death,
makes sorrow lighter,
bids me to live,
to smile, protest aloud
to your sweet ghost . . .
Published in 1993
Reading these spare poems, enhanced by 10 ink-wash drawings, is like watching a craftsman build a structure of grasses, wind, cries of shore birds, fox tails, that dandy, randy smell of salt . . .
— Marie Harris, NH poet
The 128 poems are a sort of calendar of birds . . . a poet of the grand moment when Surf scoters dive like / lawn darts descending or Plovers prance at the edge . . . like horses. . . . we redeem experience through his vision.
— Tar River Poetry
At an edge of the mill pond the great blue
heron renews its heronhood
when it turns its dagger / head to aim it
at an alighted dove or to sight
Published in 2005
HERE COMES THE OLD MAN NOW
A collection by John Perrault, poet/balladeer, author of The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse (with photos by Peter Randall), and Portsmouth Poet Laureate (2003-2005).
. . .whether to stormy Maine coasts, to the Paris of heritage, to the Argentina of the disappeared . . . All his dispatches resound against the base: home, hearth and the family around us and before and after us. . . . — Jean Pedrick
His poems are heartfelt, unsentimental; tender and muscular . . . political and deeply personal.
— Marie Harris
John Perrault has an eye for the way daily life can become luminous, and an unerring ear for precise language, for the nuances that shift such language into song.
— Betsy Sholl
Over the Side of My Canoe
An old face
I'll have / just a sliver of time please. . .
a wedge of deep dish sky / would be nice . . .
Published in 1990
Social Psychology through Poetry
Poems are models for coming to terms with inner conflicts through writing. With an index of concepts illustrated in the poems, and an essay on Erikson's Eight Ages of Man.
With his insightful commentaries next to the poems, Fred Samuels’ selected poems express early experience, including poems by Carol Samuel’s “Teacher Words” as well as his own biographic poem on his father, who immigrated to England from Bielastok, Poland/Russia. “This grey-eyed boxer” has our admiration as he attempts to win a place in that new world, in turn as mailman, mandolin player and painter.
Published in 2003
A CD of the author reading selected poems is also available for $12.95.
Robert J. Duffy must have listened, from a very early age, to readings from Homer, the Psalms of David, the Song of Songs, Spenser, Milton, Shakespeare. He is imprinted with our great language's flights and furies and it pours forth from him like a force of nature. Like John Donne, he asks his own questions, not used ones, and makes up and tries out his own answers, too.
— Jean Pedrick
As she could, with just her eyes,
increase by half the sun,
be careless with her joy
and laugh to no advantage;
so then could I, as one
with finger tries an iron,
be daring and not wise.
from "Love Story"
Millenium Razor (excerpts)
All fierce we are,
all points and blades.
Angry and insufferable we study how to rise
so unlike any bird
against the sky.
All reach we are,
all grasp and rage.
Our legs spread wide around a flame and borne
like maidens mad with
lust upon a unicorn.
All swift we are,
all wings and speed.
Behind us now the green and milk round earth
and there the glinted eyes
that overlook our birth . . . .
Published in 1992
PEACE IN EXILE
A naturalist and backpacker follows traces of those who came before, through chaparral and desert to mountain peaks. There is irony in "The Dow is down . . .The tao is down slightly. . . ." and "What the chainsaws have made clear"
— Margery Milne
The roar of images and sounds impounds us
like ancient city walls keeping out the world,
keeping in beloved mayhem, barter,
smells, deceit and favor. Nothing astounds us
but news: politicians, boy versus girl,
anything pungent enough and rank . . .
This is the city. Get, consume, feud . . .
from "Even now"
Published in 1995
SHADOWS & SUN/OMBRES ET SOLEIL
Writings of 1913-1952 by Paul Eluard
Poems in French and English include previous untranslated The Animals and their Men, and
6 essays in English on Picasso, Surrealism. Translations by Cicely Buckley. Drawings by Picasso, René Magritte, Marc Chagall, A. Lhote.
Seamless, accurate translations distinguish this bilingual selection. . . . includes "Liberté" which RAF pilots dropped over France during World War II, the Surrealist Declaration of 1925 . . . to an essay on "committed poetry" . . . to capture this century's shattering changes.
— Publishers' Weekly
Le centre du monde est partout et chez nous.
Soudain la terre bienvenue
Fut une rose de fortune
Où tout chantait à rose ouverte
The center of the world is all around and within us.
Suddenly the welcome world
Became a rose of fortune....
Everything singing like a rose in bloom
(This book is currently out of stock; second printing is due September, 2009.)
THOUGHTS FOR THE FREE LIFE:
Lao Tsu to the Present
Wisdom of the ages from many cultures, on the art of living. Poems and sayings from American Indian, African, Oriental and Western cultures include Socrates, Shakespeare, American Indian, Thoreau, May Sarton, Shelley et al. With indices of authors and of 29 languages of origin.
The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robe ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
We have only to look around us, at the fissures in the rockwall of our times, to know that we have created for ourselves a madhouse of irrationality and despair.
The lunacies of our world erupt daily like boils on the diseased body of civilization.
Is it...the reawakening of conscience, or...the refracted pain of denying our souls?
Alienation...the explanation for racial strife, random violence, mass madness, the rape of our planet....
—Harlan Ellison, Alone Against Tomorrow, 1971
Bear not the burden of a world outworn,
Nor to the future bow;
With every hour thy joy be newly born,
And earth be new-created every morn –
Thy life is here and now.
– from the Sanskrit of Bhartrihari, 7th century, India
Published in 1999
UNDER THE LEGISLATURE OF STARS:
62 New Hampshire Poets
Something lies in wait here for everyone, which is the true purpose of an anthology. . . . from the Greek for a gathering of flowers. But don't think hothouse alone, or roses or lilies. You will find thistles within as well, and bindweed, even the rebarbative sting of nettle, which is as it should be.
— Maxine Kumin
No one time can claim its hollow center.
I fall into it and risk
my name and history.
All is equal in the new air:
The open book unraveling
its tale that will end,
the nest of cedar waxwings
knitted to a broad branch,
– Mimi White
The wind knocking the yellow leaves....
Words for a Warrant (excerpts)
When the stream by the Town Hall rushes
with meltwater, and early sap drips
into buckets until dusk; when the dirt back
roads thaw by noon and freeze again at night,
Bob looks for his gavel . . .
on the second Tuesday in March . . .
we settle to the business of governing ourselves . . .
for a couple of hours, we are civil and deliberate.
Then we stand stretching, happy
to go home, and step out into the clear,
cold night, under the legislature of stars.
– Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall
Two books for reading aloud
$9.00 / 6 or more, $7.00 ea.
Published in 1999
IS IT POISON IVY?
Guide for children and adults to identify poison ivy, oak, sumac, and their look-alikes.
. . .with humor, fine drawings of plants and nature's creatures, a woodland watercolor for the cover.
— M. Milne, author of The Balance of Nature
Published in 1989
THE MENDING OF THE SKY & OTHER CHINESE MYTHS
25 legends of creation, the invention of writing, herbal medicine, good government. Illustrations have the power of traditional Chinese painting. For adults and children, and for reading aloud.
— Small Press Review
Page from The Mending of the Sky