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While We've Still Got Feet
David Budbill
$15.00 paperback
978-1-55659-223-2
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While We've Still Got Feet
New Poems
David Budbill

Inspired by classical Chinese hermit-poets, David Budbill dispatches poems from his remote Vermont hermitage, Judevine Mountain, but cannot escape the complications and struggles of a modern existence. Loneliness, mortality, and political outrage are confronted in poems with blunt honesty, humor and keen insight into the human condition.

Weaving throughout While We’ve Still Got Feet is the peace of a wilderness home, the pleasures of daily life, and a perceptive melancholy over the passage of time. As in his previous best-selling volume, Moment to Moment—which was cited by Booklist as a "Top Ten Book of the Year"—Budbill tackles opposites: solitude and loneliness, contentment and restlessness, the allures of the city versus the country, and the tension between engagement with and withdrawal from the world and its cares.

 

 

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Featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac

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reviews
For While We've Still Got Feet, David Budbill

"Budbill both informs and moves. He is, in short, a delight and a comfort."—Wendell Berry

"With rare honesty, affection and grace—and with language so precise and descriptive you will know immediately you're soul-deep in something extraordinary... "—The Los Angeles Daily News

"Budbill writes out of the real, contemporary New England, not from the past, not from the cellar holes. He speaks from the New England which is Appalachia—poverty, exploitation, and good people."—Donald Hall

"Judevine Mountain can be hilarious, as when he gripes, 'What good is my humility / when I am / stuck / in this obscurity?' Other poems strike more Han-Shan-like notes by appreciating the beauties of solitude in nature, the consolations of art and poetry, the joy of friendship with occasional visitors (including a woman!), and the bittersweetness of life's brevity."—Booklist, starred review

"A recognizable immediacy and honesty, accompanied by an endearing wit... Budbill's economical, brush-stoke approach... evinces a hard-won clarity, a pure, human tone among the many portentous self-advertisements and stridencies so often heard in poetry these days."—Library Journal

"Adopting the persona of a legendary Chinese hermit-poet, Budbill takes his folksy, plain-speaking style to new levels of profound simplicity, alternately relishing his isolated life in the mountains and decrying the loneliness that isolation brings: 'moaning about his fate / yet singing still / the melancholy sweetness / of this life.' Budbill is the perfect antidote for those who find contemporary poetry distanced and obscure."—American Libraries

"Perhaps the most striking thing about Budbill's latest poems is their absolute clarity of expression. Clarity like this sounds simple, but does not come easily. It takes a fine poet with a good ear and an open heart to express such truths."—Vermont Public Radio

"Complicated and engaging, self-deprecating and glib, Judevine proves to be an accomplished poet of the mind... [In a] voice—effortless, fluid, wryly self-conscious... the poet's persona comes through strong and true—a middle-aged man facing his mortality and clinging to verse for consolation... His terse, epigrammatic lyrics are a lilting mirror of classical Chinese poetry. No doubt, Li Po and Han Shan would be proud."—The Wichita Eagle

"What these poems have is a truly unusual vision... They are restorative; solace in this painful world. I am moved and calmed."—Hayden Carruth

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