Stanley Plumly has authored ten books of poetry and four works of nonfiction, including Elegy Landscapes, Posthumous Keats, and The Immortal Evening. Winner of the Truman Capote Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize, among others, Plumly teaches at the University of Maryland and lives in Frederick, Maryland.
In this collection, Stanley Plumly confronts and celebrates mortality--in the detailed natural world, in the immediacy of the loss of friends, and in personal encounters. Archetypal, sometimes even allegorical, the poems in Old Heart amount to a sustained meditation. The American Academy of Arts and Letters declared of Plumly that "he has in the last thirty years quietly, steadily, expanded the range of lyric poetry in English...[and] reinvigorated our poetry." His ethical rigor and literary modesty combine in Old Heart--his finest book of poetry.
Orphan Hours is a book of reconciliation, of coming to terms with time in its most personal and memorable manifestations, and of learning the wisdom of what cannot be changed. The urgency of the elegy has been absorbed by an acceptance of the detail, texture, and small moments that constitute and enrich mortality.
from “Lapsed Meadow"
I remember, in Ohio, fields of wastes of nature,
lost pasture, fallow clearings, buckwheat
and fireweed and broken sparrow nests,
especially in the summer, in the fading hilltop sun,
when you could lose yourself by simply lying down.
Who will find you, who will call you home now, at dusk,
with the dry tips of the goldenrod confused
with a little wind, filling in what’s left of the light.