To See the Earth
Philip Metres is the author and translator of a number of books and chapbooks, including I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (forthcoming), Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties by Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling Presse 2014), A Concordance of Leaves (Diode 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front since 1941 (University of Iowa 2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry and has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, five Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award (for the forthcoming Sand Opera), the Arab American Book Award, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, and a Russian Institute of Translation grant. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
“Do our voyages Auden once asked, ‘still promise the Juster Life?’ Too many of us would answer this question in negative—not so Philip Metres. His poems seek above all to traverse borders, not merely those between nations and cultures but also—and most importantly—between the personal and the political. With a sure command of craft, which he displays in abundance, Metres plays for high stakes. To See the Earth is a debut of unusual distinction.” –David Wojahn
“Set in landscapes ranging from Russia to Kentucky, from Ephesus to the Murder Capital of the World (that’s Gary, Indiana!), from Cleveland to Hiroshima, Philip Metres’ superb poems explore the confusion and complexities that ordinary people face in talking to one another—in the slippery language of everyday speech, or across the secured borders of grammar and history. Words are not abstractions to Metres—they’re as physical as fifty women making PEACE with their bodies, as mysterious as a bat soaring to unheard music, as illuminating as an ash tree ‘burning into its name.’ These poems echo in the mind long after the book is closed.” –Maura Stanton
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Metres, Philip, "To See the Earth" (2008). CSU Poetry Center Books. 135.