This collection of poems by Jim Tilley
has been praised by Billy Collins,
Elizabeth Spires and Stephen Dobyns.
His poetry is deep and tight, well
controlled. And when his theme
emerges, ascends from the lines to the
heart of the reader, the impact is
profound. His themes reveal not
only interpersonal relationships and
confidences, but also the inner dialogue
all of us have with ourselves and the
Please read, for example, this painfully
human poem from In Confidence.
Until First Snow
For you it was always gardening, the
of moistened earth, the trowel's handle
against your palm as the seasons'
found their usual spots, and while you
I racked up the balls, practiced
then banks and combinations. Just plain
no need for the fancy massé around here
where one wins by playing against
This much you knew. Now the cushions are
the slate has warped, and not much rolls
since you've been gone. I've set
the cue stick and let the trowel get
used to me.
This summer I kept the beds free of
Fall was warm—the mums stayed until
—Reviewed by Mary Ann Sullivan