by Norbert Krapf


Archer Books: August 2002
ISBN: 1931122059
Paperback - 142 pages, 60 poems

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In this collection, which includes “Fire and Ice,” winner of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Norbert Krapf returns to the settings and themes of his highly regarded Somewhere in Southern Indiana. A writer for whom place has been a major  inspiration, Krapf continues his exploration of family history, relationships between people of different ethnic backgrounds, nature, and the passage of time. He extends his meditations on the Holocaust that conclude Blue-Eyed Grass: Poems of Germany to the treatment of the Miami Indians of his native region and a racial incident from his college years. The title echoes a line from Midwestern songwriter Bob Dylan, the subject of a tribute; refers to the poet’s native Indiana, the American Heartland, the United States as a whole; and evokes a mythic homeland.

The wrap-around cover is a full-color landscape of southern Indiana, "Cornfield at Sunset," by Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, whose distinguished work is included in Indiana; The Spirit of the Place: Indiana Hill Country, a collaboration with novelist James Alexander Thom; and Destination Indiana: Travels Through Hoosier History.

The prologue, “A Whiff of Fresh Sheets,” describes a spiritual return from the East Coast to a childhood scene triggered by the reading of a Native American poem.  Section I, “The Language of Place,” recreates the landscape of the Indiana wilderness before Krapf’s German-Catholic ancestors arrived and concludes with “One Voice From Many,” a sequence combining personal narrative and meditation on past, present and future generations. Section II, “When the House Was New,” begins with a tribute to Walt Whitman and describes the poet’s childhood experiences on the farm where his mother grew up, the streets, vacant lots, and pioneer church of his hometown, and the woods and fields he once hunted. Section III, “Odysseus in Indiana,” is a series of returns decades later to the mythic landscape and characters of his youth culminating in memories of his late father and the death of his mother.  In the epilogue, “Places,” he foresees his spirit’s  return to Indiana hill country.

Other online poems from this collection: Morning Glories
Woods Hymn
Apples in Rainwater