Wind, Trees

John Freeman

Forthcoming October 2022

In Wind, Trees, John Freeman presents a meditation on power and loss, change and adaptation. What can the trees teach us about inhabiting space together? What might we gain if we admit we do not control the wind, and cannot possibly carry all we’ve been handed? Offering a stark moral critique of pandemic self-preservation—as “justifications grew / with greed like vines / up the side of a tree / taking everything”—Wind, Trees joins the ranks of politically urgent yet timeless collections like The Lice by W.S. Merwin. Through narrative lyric and metaphysical pulse, meandering thought and punctuating quiet, Freeman studies the devastating failings of humanity and the redemptive possibilities of love.

ISBN: 9781556596483

Format: Paperback

Sleeping in the Crossbreeze

The air’s sweet tonight
across the sheets
your hair a tidal wash
What boat is this we’re on
Why does the sea feel
so calm some evenings
so dark on others What
is love but feeling
there’s no compass left
to consult no wind necessary
no destination needed just
the air this wind the night blue
as night Your body
by moonlight

About the Author

John Freeman is the founder of the literary annual Freeman’s, and an executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. His books include How To Read a Novelist and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as a trilogy of anthologies about inequality, including Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and Tales of Two Planets, which features dispatches from around the world, where the climate crisis has unfolded at crucially different rates. His poetry collections include Maps and The Park. His work has been translated into more …

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“With this collection, Freeman compels us to feel, in turns of turbulence and stillness, the longing and rage and wonder that visit anyone keenly and tenderly paying attention to the passage of human life in an uncertain landscape and time. Freeman’s poems become all at once like eulogy, like instruction, like acts of love.” —Pitchaya Sudbanthad