For the end of October

"The most expansive and moving poet to come out of the American Midwest since James Wright." — Marilyn Hacker

“[Baker] captures the everyday in all its surreal repetition.” — Chicago Tribune

“Surprising yet compelling....A mature poet with a keen eye.” — Weekly Standard

“Baker craft[s]...lyrical moments from the patient observation of landscape and animal life...such moments possess that rare ability to delight and provoke.” — Harvard Review


Neighbors in October

All afternoon his tractor pulls a flat wagon
with bales to the barn, then back to the waiting
chopped field. It trails a feather of smoke.
Down the block we bend with the season:
shoes to polish for a big game,
storm windows to batten or patch.
And how like a field is the whole sky now
that the maples have shed their leaves, too.
It makes us believers—stationed in groups,
leaning on rakes, looking into space. We rub blisters
over billows of leaf smoke. Or stand alone,
bagging gold for the cold days to come.



David Baker
from Midwest Eclogue

Other Baker poems posted at Against Oblivion: "Monarchs Landing and Flying"

Here's a link to Baker's W.W. Norton page.