Thursday, October 20, 2022

Woodsmoke by Wayne Caldwell

This lovely little book was my companion for yesterday's reading room as I waited for Josie.  It was completely engrossing without a single false note. Posey's simple life and wisdom puts me in mind of some of the folks I met when we first moved here. I have always admired the lyrical quality of the Appalachian dialect and Caldwell captures it perfectly. The inclusion of the point of view of his moved-in neighbor is brilliant--the two voices make a beautiful whole. I recommend it highly, even to those who don't normally read poetry. 

Editorial review:

Woodsmoke is a poetry collection that renders the experience of living out life in a single, exquisite place―“in the shadow of the mountain my father said was mother to us all”―Mount Pisgah in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Wayne Caldwell, author of the novel Cataloochee, brings us the waning days of Posey Green, who cuts his own firewood, looks after himself, and tends to the land where his wife Birdie and her people are buried. Posey’s colloquial narrative poetry is presented as found verse, conjured from Posey’s internal musings―and these poems alternate with those of a new neighbor, a sympathetic female poet who observes Posey and his surroundings and creates a more formal poetic record of his days.


Barbara Rogers said...

Oooh goodie goodie! I have enjoyed many of his books, and now this one has a woman (dead unfortunately) named Birdie! Got to be good.

Sandra Parshall said...

It's a bit surprising that poetry is still being published these days, but very fortunate for those of us who love it. Thanks for this recommendation.