Allen Strous

About Allen Strous’ Of This Ground:

“I came from a heavy place. /Heavy people there, /not subtle minds,” declares “Proem” from Allen Strous’ Of This Ground. These poems insist on observing and living through the essentials. While there is much to like in the fierce insistence of the collection, I most enjoyed the rhythm, for example, in “Old House, Old Trees”: “Here before I was. /Magic is given, /just given, /all on one side. /I feel no obligation.”

It is refreshing these days of spreading capitalism and colorless urban life to read lines of poetry that insist on “summer music” of talking about trees, with attentiveness and affection. His feeling toward the natural world is genuine—but hardly naive. Looking at the branches he also looks “in the dark, in mind.”

“I notice the glow of the light-green,” this poet says. There is a dash of Dylan Thomas in this lyric, and much of Strous’ own wisdom in lines such as “Carpentry of these trees—/they are so simple.” But readers will quickly realize that on the page such simplicity is only seeming. It looks simple because a great deal of work was put into the words.
Ilya Kaminsky, Foreword, The Fifth Voice, Quartet Series, Toadlily Press

Of This Ground…by Allen Strous…concerns itself with the modern pastoral…Strous’ strength is the rich content from which he draws his poems. There are lovely, closely observed moments in the fourteen poems from Strous in the chapbook.
Julie R. Enszer, Galatea Resurrects #4

Allen Strous Books at the Backwaters Press

TiredTired by Allen Strous

Author: Allen Strous
Format: Paperback, 84 pages
ISBN: 9781935218135
Published: August 2009

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Best Poetry Book for Spring Reading 2010 – The Montserrat Review

Poems from Tired by Allen Strous


The buildings, pieces, still hold their places.
Their nails keep on tensing.
Paint fades, falls in this stasis
of the crystal the grass mills
as my feet mill the grass
done climbing itself.

The grass, the ground, my feet pared light,
the downward paring brings the world up,
continuous crenellation
and a body lying on a patterned floor.

I am joyous as the checkerboard,
not squares of the New Jerusalem,
papers wheeling from a notebook in the wind

Ascension, an air compressor hammering
I rise, I rise, I rise

The sky, become no color, old eye-white,
is going up.

Winter Afternoon

It has not snowed.
There are the hills, this is the field.
There is no connection.
Brittle as the fences are, I pay them attention.

They’re right, enclosing.
I am also split right,
a thin, careful square.
There is no other side to this.

No saint’s face will rise from the depths
and form on the face of a wall here.
The walls are, though they stand on darkness,
the muscles under their faces, in total agreement.

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