In Bridge Street at Dusk, Tom Sexton returns to a place he never really left, the city that does not change and always changes. He sees the city in the distinctive subtle light to which a native is attuned, a light all the more complex for being seen by one who has been long away. In the American West, Tom Sexton is praised as a poet of nature and wild landscapes. In the East, he is known for his poems about his response to the urban ethnic mosaic of a rusted and dented post-industrial America, the flip side of what Jefferson imagined for an ideal agrarian society. Here, Tom Sexton shows us how the country fits together when he tells us about the blue heron in the grass near the remains of a riverside factory. He tells us about different kinds of pioneers, the ones who carried lunch pails and gave nickels to build the big stone churches that are now closing one by one. Every so often, he comes back to check the property on behalf of those who cannot walk the path or write the news. This is the latest report.
“Tom Sexton . . . revels in the natural: river otters and Arctic char, sedge wrens and yellow warblers, witch hazel and the wolves of Denali. He’s an atavistic avatar of how to look hard yet write simply. And his Alaskan-Asian poetics are quite practical . . . .”
–New York Times Book Review on I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets
“His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human.”
–Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review
“His poetry offers images so precise, insights so profound, and language so fresh that our world returns to us renewed.”
“Tom Sexton’s work shows an amazingly precise roadmap of Lowell, Massachusetts. This is done in many ways . . . ethnically, sociologically, and geographically. He is a terrific poet, perceptive and insightful, and his poetry is coruscatingly brilliant.”