The Mad Farmer's Wife
6 x 9, 64 pp.
Pub Date: 10/25/2016
Price:        $8.95


Published by Texas Review Press

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The Mad Farmer's Wife

Rita Sim Quillen

The Mad Farmer’s Wife is a response to a life lived on a mountain cattle farm in Southwest Virginia and also to a poetic persona created by noted Kentucky poet and essayist Wendell Berry over thirty years ago: the Mad Farmer. In a world increasingly detached from the land that supplies our all our essential resources, The Mad Farmer’s Wife tries to help us understand the complexity and challenge of living that life in today’s economy and the dark life and death struggles that are a routine part of farm living.
Prayer of the Mad Farmer’s Wife
May the weeds grow into heart-shaped hedges
Giving symmetry and order to ragged fields
That August sun has turned loose and ugly
Let sunburned calves and their tired mothers
Find a pool of winter—cool shade
Between woods and creek at our world’s edge.
I am lost on a heat-shimmering quilt
Just yards from an open door where
My children watch for the relief of nightfall
And aimless bees and flies look to me
Saying, “You must know something.”
Let there be silence once again
As voices dwindle to snowsoft murmur
My life rising anew from behind the mountain.

RITA QUILLEN is the author of the novel Hiding Ezra, a finalist for the 2005 DANA Awards, and the poetry chapbook Something Solid to Anchor To. Her most recent full-length collection, Her Secret Dream, was named the Outstanding Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association in 2008. She lives and farms on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, Virginia.


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