The gorgeous play of language and metaphor in Nancy Daley’s first book provides a lush setting for its offering of poems in which love is found and lost and mourned and found again. How Much of Love rings all the changes that can resonate in the heart and mind of a woman finely tuned to every nuance of love’s delights and torments, a woman whose senses are acutely open to the sensual wonders of the world within and without. This is an oceanic work in every sense of the word, not least of all because of its exquisite interlude entitled “Pacific.” About this stunning collection, Mary Lucek has commented, “These poems evoke the ageless geology of love and change—their seismic shocks and gradual erosions. Daley speaks to the truth of the heart’s landscapes. Stasis, change, destruction and regeneration are woven throughout these lyrical distillations of experience and observation.” And this from David Wevill: "These poems are really excellent, both in their form and in their saying. I like their variety, as well as their strong, passionate concern. They are mature and fresh, recording faithfully the things of this world and enhancing them imaginatively."
Nancy Daley was born in Connecticut and currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband, Floyd Crawford, and their Border Collie Travis. She received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and was awarded the Academy of American Poets College Prize as well as a Phi Beta Kappa key. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she currently teaches Human Sexuality. Outside the classroom, she is a psychologist in private practice and a recovering inline skater.
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OFF MIDDLE BEACH
Off Middle Beach, Long Island Sound
we walk here, daring the gun-
sea glass we wish from the sand,
Off Middle Beach the wind
sending the waves that come and come
Off Middle Beach the maddening air
while here on shore we measure
In the dream
WRITTEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Ismaël Lo, “Jammu Africa”
Each morning I look for you in the doorway,
And how your eyes, the color of new leaves,
You came along like a song I’d never heard before,
My body remembers the music you made,
Summer burns away the landscape.
Lover, my pulse keeps count of you.
Your absence is meaningless,
Clouds in the scorched sky
In this world music comes and goes.
It only matters that I heard you.
Without you the seasons
without you the blue-eyed men
without you the same
much stays the same
As if in dreams I still
LEAVING SAN PEDRO
I am afraid
I do not wish to say any more
That afternoon driving home
We saw the late sun, platinum.
What kind of word is that to use? Beauty!
Late Sunday afternoon, tired of rest,
I give it all up for a problem I can fix
to pull wet fistfuls of dead leaves
cell by cell down from the lives they once
too rich in death to be let go.
to the mound of shells and peels and
waiting for spring to come
NO COW. EVERY DAY NO COW.
I go to the front door wearing my expectancy
I try not to take it personally.
You start from the outside and work your way
Meticulous in this as in
For years we breakfasted alone,
These are the circles I see you pour: