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New Tracks, Night Falling [Paperback]

Our Price $ 17.00  
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Item Number 333288  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   72
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2009
Publisher   Eerdmans Pub Co
ISBN  0802825729  
EAN  9780802825728  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
An award-winning poet, Walker reminds us that we are a people driven and divided by fear---and brought together by hope! Expectantly, she writes of sparrows, shadows, and sounds; racism and war; headlights and a leaf. Her lyrical, intelligent verse explores the depths of our sorrow and solitude, of our bottomless greed---and boundless grace. 80 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.

Publishers Description
"Anyone who can get through a newspaper," Jeanne Murray Walker says, "will find this book a piece of cake." Indeed, the poems in this book are strong but unpretentious pieces rich in meaning and feeling. / The poems in New Tracks, Night Falling acknowledge that we are people driven and divided by fear. They talk about racism, war, loss, greed, alienation, our disregard of the earth, and our disregard of each other. Sometimes we feel like night is falling in the bright light of day. Yet we get glimpses of hope, of what could be: / In this dark time I want to / make light bigger, / to toss it in the air like a pizza chef, / to stick my fists in, stretching it / till I can get both arms into radiance above the elbow / and spin it above us. / Hope continually threads its way through these poems. We hear its voice as Walker writes about choices -- both those we make and those beyond our making. / And we feel hope rising like bread when Walker focuses on the gifts of potential, resolution, mercy, joy -- the new tracks that we can make in fresh snow, on old paths, along the roads more or less traveled. These are stays against the falling night. / With a keen eye for both physical and emotional detail, Walker explores a journey that all of us are on, and she does so in a way that speaks to our deep fears and deeper joys, that engages and inspires. Tempering somber notes with more joyful ones, she reminds us of the good things, great and small, that are still possible in this world.

Buy New Tracks, Night Falling by Jeanne Murray Walker from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802825728 & 0802825729

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More About Jeanne Murray Walker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jeanne Murray Walker's poems and essays have appeared in seven books as well as many periodicals, including Poetry, The Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Image, The Atlantic Monthly, and Best American Poetry. Among her awards are an NEA Fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in The Arts. She is Professor of English at The University of Delaware as well as a mentor in the Seattle Pacific University Low Residency MFA Program. In her spare time Jeanne gardens, cooks, and travels. Learn more at

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General   [19247  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States   [6288  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century   [6376  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General   [6288  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Sustaining Voice  Jan 22, 2010
Jeanne Murray Walker surprises me again and again in this collection. The several poems in response to scripture are worth the price of the whole book. There is Adam, regretting that "the name / she gave the yak chafes him." Mary, observing "the holly bush . . . by the peeling door" as she gives birth. And Moses, who can only remember "his favorite uncle laid out in the stone sarcophagus," victim of the last plague. The book ranges well into our own time, lamenting loss and pirouetting into sudden epiphanies of consolation. My favorite is "I Make My X Here," which ends with the story of William Keith in the San Francisco earthquake. After watching two thousand landscape paintings go up in flames, "The next day he started to repaint them / In praise of what he lost. In praise of going on."
Is it possible to overcome deep loneliness?  Oct 22, 2009
You walk down the same lane through fresh snow over many years late at night. You have no doubt that tonight's stroll will be unlike any other, until a stranger passes by. Who is this stranger to have invaded your space?

The stranger appears out of nowhere and goes nowhere beside. You divert attention from a startled feeling inside to a little curiosity about the stranger. What's the stranger doing about now that he's out of sight? Is he thinking about me, even as I think of him?

"Snow drifted over him as he dozed in the cold breezeway
in his Naugahyde recliner. From here
he looked like a character sealed in a snow globe
representing one way a man could freeze to death.
On days I phoned him, I imagined him
brushing snow off, rising like a great walrus
to shuffle inside the kitchen and pick up."
'Elegy: Lloyd Aderhold, d. September 12, 2001' (p.4)

Jeanne Murray Walker places this poem near the top of her first section named 'Separations,' in this 2009 book of collected poems. Walker is a prolific and engaging poet,essayist, and playwright. She dedicates the poem to her "tall bachelor uncle," who spent the day prior glued to TV. Had he seen a stranger?

Back to the stranger--Is this lane the same lane of fresh snow I have walked before. On another late night walk "you" were rattled by two fiery infernos on Manhattan's south side. Her uncle named Lloyd Aderhold, the "object" of this poem, is seated before the spectacle that turned every "you" on September 11th upside down like flakes inside a snow globe scatter an isolated "I" and "he."

The sudden emergence of "you" in the third stanza confuses subject and object, so keenly distributed by "him" and "me" up above. Whose heart breaks after "we flew to bury him?" The answer to this riddle of pronouns deftly resists every attempt to tease out.

We cannot be sure. Certainty in the way we think about individuals and autonomy like "I" and "he," rostral columns of one general's victory and everyone's defeat, fall down into heaps. Prior they stood tall and proud, but now scatter like unpacked snow, like it was "...all day watching airplanes inside your TV penetrate the Towers."

Sudden awareness that an unknown but familiar stranger watches your heart break--a silent witness--helps you to write down "...what you had no words for." What is on the mind of the silent witness now? We do not walk the same lane again.

Not all 14 poems of 'Separations,' part 1, develop along the lines of abrupt disturbances as do a handful devoted to catastrophe on September 11th. However, cataclysm arrives fast or slowly, nonetheless, in the rest. For example, the poem 'History' (p. 15) "starts as an ache in the throat." Like a sore throat puffing up the head until pain puts one to bed, the history of Moses leading a haggard crew "...through the Red Sea" brings with it realizations too painful to swallow. Gone are people whom Moses loved dearly, and "...these limping slaves..." Moses discovers, "...are not stupid."

Separations ignite consciousness of the one who has always watched your back. Always unsettling, these separations of Walker's poems make me aware that I am not alone as I read them. That alone instills at least a little consolation for the so named 'Choices' to make in part 2.

`Choices' (part 2) consists of 13 poems. Varied in reference to choices that prominent biblical characters made--such as a remarkable choice that Adam did not make in selecting his mate ("Adam's Choice")--and in reference to events that befall even the most ordinary character, `Choices' depicts quotidian and tedious occasions when we decide which choice it will be. I might add upon further reflection in reading these poems that not only must we decide which choice it will be, but also who we will be and become in the choice that we make.

Part 3 (`Tracks') parallels the metaphor of a familiar lane that you walk at night, which came to me after first reading Walker's introduction to this text. There she entertains how "...reading a poem is like following tracks to an interior realm" (p. x). She portrays a solitary walk across a snow-covered field, where one discovers tracks and inner curiosity to see where they lead. "Praying for Rain in Santa Fe," midway through 13 poems collected in part 3, represents well the poet's description of the sense that I am not alone.

This sense of someone is here with me is what happened to me as I read this poem. Someone listens to me in "solitary" prayer, for there is no arrow to shoot without a target to strike:

"In prayer lies prayer's answer. In the calling out,
the visitation. In the arrow lives the target's eye.
So water rises from its knees, believing water

will come." (p. 45)

`Resolutions' (part 4) holds 16 poems, which makes it the largest part of the book. Doubts return in "Resolution' to unsettle poet and reader. Maybe the unseen maker of the tracks, the one whom I identify as the "stranger," forgot to show up before anxiety spelled despair. All too familiar, some events crank up the volume of suffering in us that only a consoling poem might relieve. Among others, burying a loved one is one such event.

"Helping the Morning" in part 4 comes toward the end of this magnificent collection. It frames resolution the way that the poem frames the poem in part 1 about the uncle who had died. Welcoming the dawn after the burial and the ride home, the poet notes that the winter has brought drought and locked her heart. However, morning opens:

"Like the aperture of a camera, the morning opens
and keeps opening until the room is filled
with rosy light and I could believe

anything: that grass might turn green again,
that clouds the size of my hand
might swell, might drift in, bringing rain. (p. 60)

Read these poems aloud in seasons of plenty and drought. Cherish them without care that one or the bunch might wither in memory. Return to them with friends and loved ones in sickness and health, gathering your senses that you are not alone, indeed.


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