"These poems are the waves emanating from the gravitational fall of my runs by the Eno river," writes James Applewhite, "and other travels, into a self I could not otherwise know. They are my repetitive song of belief in the possibility of presence in language."
From "Observing the Sun":
On a bank overlooking the Eno, I feel us as lightly aligned As heads of the Queen Anne's lace, Their congregation of angles. Red sun, dilated, has us all In its sights. Against its horizon, I spread my arms like a road sign To mark earth where we are.
Originally published in 1988.
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River Writing is an extraordinary journal of a poet's intimate encounter with a landscape in which the self can temporarily abandon itself. In this setting, nature becomes a text, a language of past, present and future. Applewhite reads that text for us with enormous empathy and by ideal light."
"James Applewhite's River Writing: An Eno Journal seems to me one of the few authentic and strong American poetic sequences of his generation. Applewhite has found his true subject as a poet, and has developed a stance and style wholly adequate to the philosophical and spiritual reach of his poignant concerns."—Harold Bloom