New England Primer
"New England Primer is the best damn book of poetry I've read
in a good long while. "Ice Fishing," "The Owl," "Long Distance," "The
Compass"—these are poems like nobody else's."
"These wonderful, finely crafted poems are deceptively quiet like
the landscapes they lovingly depict and the lives they choose to
observe with such deep affection. And yet, there is much here that
is very dark, and haunted not only by a nostalgia for a lost, more
innocent past, but by what Robert Lowell calls 'the dark downward
and vegetating kingdom/of the fish and reptile.' The unconscious
is very much alive in these poems, which is to say, they delve into
areas of human experience that can sometimes freeze you to the bone
like diving into a perfectly calm, New Hampshire pond in early spring."
—Michael Van Walleghen
"Bruce Guernsey's truths are important. His very human poems--so often
about innocent things like fishing, splitting wood, or simply walking--reveal
another world where an owl's eyes become a hangman's, or God, a swaddled,
illegitimate child. These discoveries are even more disturbing because
they come from words so clean and direct."
from Barnes & Noble
(80 pages, $18.00)