Take Your Time Coming Home, by Cleatus Rattan, poet Laureate of Texas for 2004–05, is a book that begins with initiation themes for the child and proceeds to initiation of the adolescent and college student and cowboy. Later, the poet tries to deal with the initiation to war. Finally, a prevailing theme is that of aging and death. The point-of- view is from the aging to the aged, then from the point-of-view of the loved-one survivor to the attitude of the dying to the survivor. Nothing morbid—just a refreshing look.
CLEATUS RATTAN is Mayborn Professor of English at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. His book The Border (Texas Review Press, 2002) received The Texas Review Poetry prize and was later selected for study by high school students across the state of Texas in UIL competitions in literary criticism. Rattan is the first living poet to be so honored. Rattan was selected as Poet Laureate of Texas for the years 2004–05 and was cited as a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University–Commerce in 2004. National Public Radio interviewed him and asked him to read four of his poems for the second inauguration of President Bush. Rattan is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, the University of North Texas, Hardin-Simmons University, and Texas A&M University–Commerce.
What Readers Are Saying:
"Readers familiar with the work of Cleatus Rattan will find themselves once again swept up in his poetic magic as he moves smoothly through the memories of his life, from family to teaching to war to trading horses. Here is a man as easy in his Poet Laureate chair as he once was in the saddle; and I know how easy that was for him because I remember those days of cows and horses on his place outside Cisco. This is poetry of family and small-town West Texas and the people living there. It is as real as sun-bleached bones scrubbed clean by the wind." --Paul Ruffin, author of Here's to Noah, Bless His Ark, Castle