The Blessing

Richard Jones

Gathering out-of-print and previously uncollected poems together with new poems and work from four previous volumes, The Blessing provides an overview of one of the most surprising, deceptively accessible poets currently writing. Jones’s poems explore the sacredness of the ordinary and everyday, imbuing the simplest of human gestures with delicate grace. Whether coming home to a burglarized house, weeping over a nineteenth-century novel while riding a train through the Italian countryside, or simply cooking tomato soup in a yellow pot, he writes from a calm interior and creates a beautiful and fabulous world.

ISBN: 9781556591433

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Throughout his career, Richard Jones has written from a luminous interiority, in deceptively simple, elegant language. His complex and intimate poems are spare, intentional models of clarity and restraint. Yet the formal quietness and the clear style belie neither the poetry’s soulfulness nor the poet’s intelligence; rather, such lucidity attains a kind of radiance. Richard Jones’s sixteen books include Apropos of Nothing (Copper Canyon, 2006), The Correct Spelling & Exact Meaning (Copper Canyon, 2010), and Stranger on Earth (Copper Canyon, …

Read more


The Blessing gathers under one cover Richard Jones’s insightfully candid and supremely accessible poetry, providing a comprehensive overview survey of this superb and uniquely talented poet.” —Midwest Book Review

“Richard Jones is a poet of uncommon perceptual gifts… He once again demonstrates an ability both to transform into affirmation the tragedies of personal experience and to extract from them a more universal truth.” —Library Journal

“What may seem melancholy becomes, in these deftly handled lines and acute images, consoling and quietly inspiring.” —Booklist

“Richard Jones is a poet of the heart—and heartbreak. Candid, directly affecting in his unadorned diction, he returns time and again to a broken marriage, a five-year-old nephew’s drowning, a miscarriage, an admired yet somehow unattainable father, immutable loneliness, as well as an ambivalent sense of being at once self-immobilized and inherently rootless… Such self-absorption would make for gloomy reading, were it not for the poet’s storytelling gifts, which include a talent for creating suspense and understating the essential… The Blessing is a carefully structured narrative, an overarching tale of a man evolving from ‘despair, loss, and dread’ to a more complex state of mind. The haunting presences from the past may never relinquish their grip on him, but a long-awaited ‘blessing’—love—now also vies for his future.” —Poetry

“Richard Jones doesn’t hide around the corner from his poems or his reader… This collection… invites you into a language landscape much more personal than a single poem’s statement… Jones’s work is a house instead of only a room.” —American Book Review

“Each poem here is a little treasure, a precious thing… This is… what The Blessing is all about: the attention one must pay to the everyday in order to realize its sacred nature. For Jones, the business of being a poet is about being a keen observer and maker of beautiful responses and tributes to what he observes. With sensitivity and delicacy, Jones reveals to us the delight and fear and joy and overwhelming pain that is in the world and makes [it] into something holy, blesses it, and makes it something worth having.” —Fresh Poetry

“All of Jones’s poetry in this collection… echoes with the knowing peels of much-needed wisdom and compassion traveling from line to line, poem to poem. It’s a sound that’s genuine, unmistakable, and easy to understand.” —Home News Tribune

“[Jones’s] poems have the appeal of tiny novels that get better on each rereading… Richard Jones is a masterful poet of what actually makes us human.” —Providence Sunday Journal

“[With The Blessing,] Copper Canyon has published a document as magnanimous at the spirit infusing it.” —Rain Taxi