Heather Christle is the author of Heliopause (Wesleyan University Press, 2015), What Is Amazing (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), The Difficult Farm (Octopus Books, 2009), and The Trees The Trees (Octopus Books, 2011), which won the 2012 Believer Poetry Award.
This is serious. Heather Christle’s poems in The Difficult Farm are dancing with the mysteries surrounding our condition and enlivening our language in the process. Christle’s poems are magical but they’re too busy to tell you that. These poems run and jump and float over an ever-evolving landscape where what’s at work is the serious business of discovery. In this book you will make discoveries of all kinds. These poems will shoot you to the moon, but which moon?
Just as suddenly it was over and I felt
like an old sheet someone had dropped
into the river, and which had not yet sunk,
but drifted with blue shadows in the largest
of its creases. The river itself resembled
the wooden roads they did not discover
until someone remembered to look down
from orbiting space, and then modern-day
England had to start thinking hard
about the wide-ranging work of the Druids.
Nobody knows what the Druids were like.
When you peel the silk off an ear of corn
you look as though you are sabotaging
a maypole, but also contemplative,
like a stone that’s reached old age in a field
of modified poppies. The birthday cake
you did not prepare for me bore a likeness
to the infamous Sarah Morgan, who moved
to town one summer, but never arrived
at school, despite the exquisite sharpness
of the pencils we had readied in hopes
of dazzling our unfamiliar friend. This was
a mystery, much like the night I spent
wallpapering the parlor without you.
Now fourteen feet underwater, I am
still replete with questions: Whose parlor
was it? And why did I work alone?