Todd Davis | Household of Water, Moon, & Snow

Household of Water, Moon, and Snow: The Thoreau Poems. Number Ten in the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series, selected by Ron Mohring.

Cover image by Randy Barlow; used by permission.

Release date: November 15, 2010 [125 copies]
26 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-9829396-1-1

Todd Davis, winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, teaches creative writing, environmental studies, and American literature at Penn State University’s Altoona College.  He is the author of three books of poetry—The Least of These (Michigan State University Press, 2010); Some Heaven (Michigan State University Press, 2007); and Ripe (Bottom Dog Press, 2002)—and co-editor of Making Poems:  40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets (State University of New York Press, 2010).  His poems have been featured on the radio by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac and by Marion Roach on The Naturalist’s Datebook, as well as by Ted Kooser in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry.  His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such journals and magazines as The North American Review, Shenandoah, The Iowa Review, Indiana Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 AM, West Branch, River Styx, Arts & Letters, Quarterly West, Green Mountains Review, Poetry East, Orion, Epoch, Nimrod, Sou’wester, Rattle, The Nebraska Review, and Image.  In addition to his creative work, Davis is the author or editor of six scholarly books, including Kurt Vonnegut’s Crusade, or How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism (State University of New York Press, 2006) and Mapping the Ethical Turn:  A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory (University Press of Virginia, 2001).

Thoreau Dreams of Margaret Fuller Three Days after Her Death 

He finds himself staring across the shoals of Fire Island,
her body beneath the waves, beneath the crown of a crescent

moon, the coinage of its inconstancy. Her child has already been
rolled in the surf, buried in the clutched arms of a dead sailor. 

The sea refuses to give up her body, as she refused to try 
for the shore while the ship came apart beneath her. He wonders

if she knew this was a thin place, a space of rest, or if it was simply
the sea’s seduction that laid her patience? The water has stolen

her words: the manuscript’s shell and the winged figure of love
raging for vindication. He knows loss is human, as is the desire

to place blame, to find meaning in death, to weep forever if the body
of the beloved is lost, never to be lowered into the dirt. In the dark

there is always the risk we will run aground, sandbar tossing us
from our bunks, heaving the stern and bringing freight crashing

through the vessel’s side. Even before he arrives nearly
a thousand people comb the wreckage, weigh the planks and spars,

steal away boxes shipped from the old world to this new place
where a woman might conjure, might possess the idea,

all things being equal, that the ballast could right the ship,
that night might allow it to sail safely into harbor.

  • Click here to read Peggy Rosenthal’s review of Todd’s previous book, The Least of These.
  • Click here to read Dave Bonta’s review of Household of Water, Moon, & Snow over at Via Negativa.
  • Go here for an interview with Todd at Speaking of Marvels.

Purchase Todd’s chapbook here

2 thoughts on “Todd Davis | Household of Water, Moon, & Snow

  1. Pingback: Todd Davis chapbook launches today « Seven Kitchens Press

  2. Pingback: Household of Water, Moon, & Snow: The Thoreau Poems by Todd Davis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s