In her first book since Where the Deer Were, Kate Barnes probes and penetrates more deeply and more profoundly into her special world of friendships, of rural Maine, of seasons, and of lives slowly, inexorably coming to an end. This selection of her strongest work from the past decade displays a poet at the height of her power – compassionate, compelling, and possessed of an ear for words, images, and rhythms that is almost pitch perfect.
Like Frost, Barnes is a deceptively simple poet. Her narrative verse partakes of an old tradition: she tells a story. But beneath the story are life lessons, strictures taught by her parents (Elizabeth Coatsworth and Henry Beston), the harsh climate of New England, and the necessities of living a life alone, but without loneliness. What the reader comes away with is a sense of connection – with the past, with the earth, with her friends, and with the human condition superbly defined.