by Elton Glaser
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
Paper: 978-0-8093-2305-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8501-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3557.L314W56 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54


Winter Amnesties is a book of origins and endings, griefs and reconciliations. Each poem addresses the dilemma posed by G. K. Chesterton: “One must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it.” The poems revisit the past, assess the present, and stare hard into the future. At middle age, Glaser remembers his youth in Louisiana and settles into the long stretch of his adult years in Ohio; he makes his peace with “the life that allows.” As son, as father, as poet, he looks to his legacy, whatever dim remnant of himself might continue after “all flesh falls back to salt and cinder.”

But these are poems of brio and bitter wit, not of self-pity and surrender. They take a jaunty stance towards life and welcome whatever the days may bring, confident that, like crows in the harvest cornfield, we can live on “the shocks and waste of this world” and “wring gold grain from the ruin.”

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