The poems in Night Mowing find their influence in the natural and the erotic; the biblical and the classical; the aesthetic and the spiritual. The landscape exists as both an ecstatic source of inspiration and as an endangered garden, and the narrator of these poems moves through that landscape in admiration and anguish: trying to preserve his joyful innocence while fully aware of the transience of all that he sees. Each poem in its specifics, whether focusing on a lover, a mountain, a dog, or a critic, wrestles with the universal and sacred, revealing the instinct of the poems to move toward purity and deep feeling even in dark times.
About the Author
Chard deNiord is associate professor of English at Providence College and director of the New England College MFA program. He is the author of five books of poetry, including Asleep in the Fire and Sharp Golden Thorn.
“Here is a poet with a truly extraordinary verbal imagination. His poems begin in the commonplace and rise-or soar, leap, swell-to the climactic surreal in a few lines. This is aptitude beyond technique, unassailable by the workshopping greenhorns. It is indeed a kind of ecstasy for every and any reader. I recommend Chard deNiord's new book as enthusiastically as I can.”
“Chard deNiord sees daily life in terms of eternity and interprets it in a modern rendition of the language of the Biblical psalmist, the language of intelligent and controlled ecstasy. In Night Mowing, deNiord seeks to live totally in the moment but with an abiding sense of the eternal, like the bird in his beautiful lyric 'To Hear and Hear,' which sings 'the same sweet song / again and again in the understory'. The result is terrific poetry.”
“At times narrative, at times pure song, these lyrics take the bucolic for their territory and trace the regular rhythms of season, day, the human pulse, and life span. Spiritual and primal worlds meet in a space best described by William Empson's late definition of the pastoral, wherein the complex finds expression in the simple and rustic. 'Earth is the right place for love.' Yes, and these poems are beautiful, essential reminders of that truth; boldly they speak to our broken times.”