Winter Amnesties is a book of origins and endings, griefs and reconciliations. Each poem addresses the dilemma posed by G. K. Chesterton: One must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it. The poems revisit the past, assess the present, and stare hard into the future. At middle age, Glaser remembers his youth in Louisiana and settles into the long stretch of his adult years in Ohio; he makes his peace with the life that allows. As son, as father, as poet, he looks to his legacy, whatever dim remnant of himself might continue after all flesh falls back to salt and cinder. But these are poems of brio and bitter wit, t of self-pity and surrender. They take a jaunty stance towards life and welcome whatever the days may bring, confident that, like crows in the harvest cornfield, we can live on the shocks and waste of this world and wring gold grain from the ruin.
Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron and editor of the Akron Series in Poetry. He has published four full-length collections of poems: Relics, Tropical Depressions, Color Photographs of the Ruins, and Winter Amnesties. His poems have appeared in the 1995, 1997, and 2000 editions of The Best American Poetry and Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry. He coedited, with William Greenway, I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio.