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Hayden Carruth

Hayden Carruth (1921–2008) published work with VQR for nearly forty years, and he remains the only poet to have won VQR’s Emily Clark Balch Prize more than once. In his long life in letters, he published literary criticism, essays, a novel, and more than thirty books of poetry. His many awards include a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Lannan Literary Award, the Carl Sandburg Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.


Emergency Haying

Spring 1969 | Poetry

Coming home with the last load I ride standing
on the tongue of the trailer, behind the tractor
in its hot exhaust, lank with sweat

The Little Fire in the Woods

Even these stones I placed crudely once, black now from many fires, bring me a little knowledge, the things I've done, the times endured, saying I am this one, this person, as night falls through the trees. I see sand darkening by the edge of [...]

Homage to A. MacLeish

New and Collected Poems, 1917–1976. By Archibald MacLeish. Houghton Mifflin. $6.95 (paper). Almost 60 years of poetry in just under 500 pages, this new book by Mr. MacLeish. Think of it. On this account alone, though many poems have been omitte [...]

Attractions and Dangers of Nostalgia

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. By Annie Dillard. Harper's Magazine Press. $7.95.In many respects Annie Dillard's book, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," is so ingratiating that even readers who find themselves in fundamental disagreement with it may take pleasure [...]

North Winter

Coming of winter is a beech sapling rising silverly in a brown field in bramble in thicket the raspberry the rosemallow all gone to rust is a silver sapling to which in wind and the judaskisses of snow the starved brown leaves cling [...]

The Dry Heart of Modesty

Notebooks: Volume I. By Albert Camus. Translated by Philip Thody. Alfred A. Knopf. $5.00. Albert Camus began to keep his notebooks in 1935 when he was twenty-two years old. He continued until he died in 1900. The notes, written by hand in cheap co [...]


Autumn 1962 | Poetry

The poets of the Land of Indra write Godhulivela, end of day, "the hour The cows make dusty," and a lotus flower, Remembering, lays its petals to the light Of August evenings. And this is how The word in darkness for two thousand years And experienc [...]

Rain in August

Autumn 1955 | Poetry

An inundation! The sky's ocean broke!
Hour after hour the dense fall drums on us,
So thick it almost hides the hills, like smoke.

The Making Dream

Autumn 1955 | Poetry

I dreamt that I had found A page by Master Yeats Never known before. My heart did sing and bound For joy of what I read Beside the fallen tower. Twined in the hard script, The golden key To all our dreamt creation. Truly the poet knit Of his own sto [...]


Autumn 1948 | Poetry

My weekday undernsong is shared by those
Within the vaulted subway who are close
And ghostly creatures. Occasionally the face
Of votive pallor, timid and intent,
Lifts through the heads and hats of commonplace
And with the shy mouth smiles acknowledgment.