I couldn’t resist the title. And I’m glad I didn’t. The last line of of Carruth’s “Little Citizen, Little Survivor” sums up the mood of this book quite well –
Lend me your presence, and I will lend you mine.
This collection is that kind of gentle. There are many poems about Carruth’s apparent astonishment (if, indeed, he is the persona) about being happy in love with a younger woman at such an advanced age. There are a few poignant ones about a sick daughter.
I am not sure I had a favorite poem (perhaps “The Brook”)A, so much as favorite lines. From “Isabel’s Garden, May 14” –
I am / the inelegant gardener soiling my / hands in the humus of the alphabet.
And my favorite, from “Birthday Cake” –
Across the valley / patches of remaining snow make patterns among the hill farms, / among fields and knolls and woodlots, / like forms in a painting, as sure and significant as forms / in a painting.
From “The Camps” –
You see, we are of the world in spite of everything / and we cling to the world’s reasons.