The Rose Inside

David Keplinger

$15.00

Winner of the 1999 T. S. Eliot Prize

The Rose Inside is a collection of poems where the outsider longs to get inside and those trapped inside look out. The art guides one to a place beyond dualities to fully participate in the good work of love, separation, and death.

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Winner of the 1999 T. S. Eliot Prize

The Rose Inside is a collection of poems where the outsider longs to get inside and those trapped inside look out. The art guides one to a place beyond dualities to fully participate in the good work of love, separation, and death.

David Keplinger is a translator of event and emotion with poems that are lyrical, forceful, deeply feeling, and sometimes mysterious. Not everything in our lives is solvable, or knowable—so much issues from a mere point, like moonlight in a prison cell, or a minnow being lifted from the bait pail to the hook, or a group of Polish soldiers who “sleep quietly on one another’s shoulders.”

This is a wide book and a deep one, alive with marvelous composition and outcry. And yet, for all its zest of expression it is real life and real feeling that is most honored. As the gypsy says in “Lineage”: “Words, they’re nothing. It’s better you had love.” These poems, fierce and billowing, are such a gift.

—Mary Oliver, 1999 T. S. Eliot judge

Contents

I.
Blessing for the Liver
The East
Gravity
Pawkatuck
House at the Graterford Prison
Inside: George Gaines at Graterford Prison, 1981
Small Critique of a Pencil Sketch
The Immaculate
The Method
An Omniscient Narrator Saying “Hold Still”
Valley Forge

II.
Another Century
On Vicolo San Lorenzo, I See My Family Name
Fish Market
The Last Days
San Calogero Healing Springs
From My Window, Janackova Street
Reconstruction of an Ancient Theme
Krasna
Dramatic Pause
Reprise
Many Forms of Yes
Outsider
Oswiecim
The Doppler Effect
Discretion
The Distance between Zero and One
Rain Prospectus
Exactly
Neither Here nor There
Border
Evening Conversation
A Clock Face without Hands
The City beyond Existence

III.
Lineage

About the Author

Notes

Authors

David Keplinger was born in 1968. He has received grants and awards from the Open Society Fund, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Katey Lehman Foundation. From 1995 to 1997 he was a Soros fellow in Frydek-Mistek, the Czech Republic, where he also sang part time with the jazz band “Dzezky Tesin.” He lives in Philadelphia.

Visit David's webite.

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