Published by New Directions, Works & Days, is at first glance written in diary form starting on April 15 and ending on June 21, a matter of sixty-eight days, but notice when Bernadette opens the book to read, she doesn’t start at the beginning and work her way back. Payment for some Mohican land, the first poem in the book is dated April 15, which is tax day by the way, and was written a while ago—George W. Bush was still president, I believe, when I first read it—so it does belong at the beginning, an early poem, but it’s the sixth poem Bernadette reads. The first poem she reads, Climate Change = Text Messaging, is in the middle of the book. I’m not sure when she wrote it, but I do know the second poem in the book, Walk like a Robin, which she doesn’t read, but I will include later below, was written on her 70th birthday, about a year before Works & Days was published so if there were any chronology this birthday poem would be at the end of the book and not at the beginning, but let’s forget about time and place when Bernadette reads—the poem is where she wants it and that is exactly where it should be.
Works and Days is published by New Directions. Check them out: ndbooks.com/book/works-and-days/
for more poetry and other stuff, check out: donyorty.com/blog