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May 03 , 2010

Swimming Lessons

Selected Poems


This marvelous collection brings together the finest of Nancy Willard’s work 

Transporting us from Michigan farm country to the streets of New York, from a family picnic by a stream to snow-covered fields peopled by angels, the poems gathered here represent the best of Nancy Willard.

Willard’s gift for peeling back everyday existence to reveal something magical and wondrous is everywhere in evidence here. Ordinary trees become surreal landscapes “fanning the fire in their stars” and “spraying fountains of light.” Poems featuring Great Danes, donkeys, and rabbits reveal Willard’s love for all living creatures. “How to Stuff a Pepper” and “A Psalm for Running Water” coexist with poems about visits from God. The title poem tells the story of Willard at seven, while “Questions My Son Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Him” explores the joys and pitfalls of being a mother.

Offering imagery from mythical goddesses to pumpkin saints to wise jellyfish, these are poems of astonishing imagination and grace, and will introduce a new generation of readers to Willard’s remarkable body of work.

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