Foreword Reviews

Carrying Water to the Field

New and Selected Poems

Precise in the language of everyday, rich in wisdom and maturity, Joyce Sutphen’s newest collection, her eighth, speaks to her comfort with farm life, travel, aging, the distortions of memory. Sutphen is Minnesota’s poet laureate and a professor emeritus at Gustavus Adolphus College.


I wanted so badly to be good.
I wanted everything to turn out right
in the end. I wanted to go to heaven.

Whatever I thought I should lose,
I lost; whatever the cost,
I paid it. Nothing was too much.

I worked hard at letting go; I
learned the art of denial. Wine
turned into water, bread to stone.

I was the bone singing in the desert,
the gate swinging on its hinge;
I was the bell ringing and ringing.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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