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Winter in Eden

  • Loess Hills Books
  • 1997

Robert Schultz’s first full-length collection of poems, Winter in Eden, was the inaugural selection for the Loess Hills Poetry Series.

The book’s title poem asserts “We are free / Among the trees of knowledge, gleaning / Shrivelled apples and berries, sweet / As they melt in our hot mouths.”  The collection is, indeed, Eden-haunted; the poem “In Mourning” ends:  “Where is this garden? / We dream of repose, / Of an apple, broken, / Filling with light.”

This is a book of postlapsarian realities shot through with illuminated moments, in which human connection cuts a path through winter.  “Acres of snow / Reach every way.  Sunlight fills the blinding page. / He has come out here to read what it says, and he thinks he knows. / He walks back home and remembers everything; / Everything holds in his icy mirror.  When words arrive / He chooses those which fabricate nothing, take nothing away. / I read the words on the snowy page and they stick like burrs. / They name the terror and make it flower.  We stand together” (“In a Field of Weeds”).

The voice in Robert Schultz’s Winter in Eden is so accomplished, so mature, we feel we have always known the poems, even as we are surprised by their new idiom, and visionary eloquence."

– Robert Morgan, author of Topsoil Road

Critical Praise

A poetry of anguish and eros--each tuned to excruciating precision by a poet whose ear is exquisite, whose eye is unflinching, whose heart and mind are always at risk.

– Gregory Orr, author of The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems

The poems, generous and rich in their details, resonate in the mind long after each reading.

– Joseph Langland, former Poet Laureate of Massachusetts

Robert Schultz is a scrupulous craftsman and a poet of subtle effects. His wintry landscapes are stripped to their bare essentials, and for this poet, where landscapes are, morality is not far behind.

– David Lehman, editor of The Best American Poetry