The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots: Poems

The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots: Poems

by Ned Balbo


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, July 28


The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots, Ned Balbo’s sixth book of poems, inhabits that twilight, “the hour of dark and not-dark,” when the rising of the moon traces the arc of memory, and we ask ourselves, “What else are we given?” From a crow’s orbit and a hawk’s descent to desire, love, and heartbreak, these poems range widely in their search for the sacred, whether visible to the eye or buried, waiting to be discovered, like all that “the dark still holds.” The trove unearthed includes a sister lost to the author by adoption, speaking from a parallel life that could have been his own; an abandoned daughter who, in an earlier decade, dreams of distant Pluto; and the compass that once belonged to the poet’s birth father, the mute artifact of lost connections. A conspiracy theorist casts doubt on the moon landing; Saint Joseph grieves at the loss of his son to the suffering God has planned; and a figure in Bosch’s triptych, despite an afterlife of torment, fondly recalls the earthly delights he savored.

Through brief lyrics and longer narratives in a variety of forms, we see that time is “unforgiving/yet not merciless,” and that even when we draw back—like the touch-me-not plants whose leaves withdraw “like seawater parted by the wind”—our need to touch and to be touched is universal.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641770828
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ned Balbo’s 3 Nights of the Perseids won the 2018 Richard Wilbur Award. His previous books include Upcycling Paumanok, Lives of the Sleepers, awarded the Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, and The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, awarded the Poets’ Prize and the Donald Justice Prize. He is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship for his version of Paul Valéry’s “La Jeune Parque,” three Maryland Arts Council poetry grants, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, and more. His poetry and prose appear recently in The CommonThe Dark HorseThe Hopkins ReviewNew CriterionPleiades, Scoundrel Time, and elsewhere. Balbo is married to poet-essayist Jane Satterfield and was recently a visiting faculty member in Iowa State University's MFA program in creative writing and environment.

Customer Reviews