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Where the Arrow Falls, first published in Canada in 1973, still stands as a triumph of personal mythmaking. We read the songs, elegies, and haunting modern pastorals of an individual negotiating realms of infinite renewal and possibility. Compassionate and empathetic in its inquiry, the story emerges, shattered and radiant—and like the teller, one begins to worry about life.
David Wevill is a poet, translator, and editor whose work has been awarded with an Arts Council Book Prize, the Richard Hillary Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Listener, The Observer, The Spectator, and on the BBC. He lives in Austin, Texas.
"Where the Arrow Falls is a dazzling and devastating suite of poems about parenthood, war, anger, forgiveness, and our place and purchase on the earth. Somewhere between a prayer and a plaint, these poems travel from birthmarks to teeth marks, from Rilke to Pilinszky, and from the Rio Grande to the Mekong. A global poem that stays intimate and personal. The brilliant reach of this book is not only in its subject matter but in its formal invention. From short diamond-cut lines to poems crossing into prose, the range is simply remarkable. The poet writes: ‘The light before rain / The light after rain.’ In the same way I can mark my own experience with this great work: My life before Where the Arrow Falls. My life after Where the Arrow Falls."
— Michael Dickman