Pastoral Habits


By George Drew

Introduction by David Dooley

978-1-68003-079-2 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0.56 in
208 pp.
Pub Date: 06/09/2016


  • Paperback $10.95
Just as an orchard grower, when harvesting its fruit, discards the tart, the bitter, the overripe, and the stunted, so, too, any poet tries to judiciously rejected less-than-sterling poems when assembling his Selected. Pastoral Habits is a Selected of carefully chosen poems from fifty years and five volumes of poetic harvests. If “pastoral” connotes good shepherding, or good harvesting, then George Drew’s collection with, like various varieties of fruit, includes poems about Michelangelo, Physics, Russia, all things American and the natural world, will resonate for those who value the worlds of poetry, from lyric to dramatic to narrative, and whether as background or central, the pastoral.

"Few books of poetry as good as Pastoral Habits will come out this year, perhaps none better."—X. J. Kennedy


Mother, have you looked on this masterpiece?
Seen how you hold me as you did when I
was but a child? Here joy has been
exiled, and sorrow set upon the throne.
You will not see it on your perfect brow
draped by its kerchief. Nor on your firm chin,
nor in your inward-looking marble eyes,
nor even in my horror-riddled shape
draped like a smock across your lap.
Now do you see it? There—in your left hand:
the fingers splayed like broken wings,
the deeply chiseled lifeline, and the blood,
or shadow, smudging palm and fingertips.
Here, mother, piety and pity are the same.

Published by Texas Review Press