"Robert Wrigley is an historian of the present. His smart, moving poems are attuned to the drama of the moment, and his honest, musical language lifts real experience deftly into art."--Billy Collins
Robert gives an overview of the book:
THE PUMPKIN TREE
Up a lattice of sumac and into the spars
of the elderberry, the pumpkin vines had climbed,
and a week after first frost
great pendulous melons dangled like gods
among the bunches of lesser berries
and the dazzled, half-drunken birds.
Then the pumpkins fell, one by one, each mythical fruit's
dried umbilicus giving way in a rush
of gold and a snow of elliptical leaves.
A skull thud, the dull thunk of rupture,
a thin smoke then, like a soul, like dust.
But the last, high up and lodged
in a palm of limbs and pithy branches,
sways now in the slightest breeze and freeze
after freeze caves in on itself
and will, by spring, cast its black
leathery gaze out over the garden
like the mummy of a saint or an infirm
and dessicated pope. Below, where the others fell,
that seed not eaten by winter birds,
one, say, buried in meat and sheath
of skin, will rise. From its blunt,
translucent nubbin, a leaf trifoliate
and a stalk as succulent as bamboo, it will climb
blithe as a baby Christ up the knees
of the wood it cannot know it is bound for.
I was born in the Midwest but have lived nearly all of my adult life in Idaho. I studied writing at the University of Montana, with Madeline DeFrees and Richard Hugo, in the mid-seventies, and I now teach in the MFA program in writing at the University of Idaho. Awards I've...