I Will Say Beauty

Cloth Text – $49.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5138-3

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5139-0
Publication Date
May 2003
Page Count
0 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

I Will Say Beauty

Carol Frost

"I will say beauty," Carol Frost boldly says in one of her new lyrical poems, beauty being for her and all of us elusive-in and out of nature. The phrase is meant as a cri de coeur, and the poems are arranged to offer a fresh way to look at-and exist within-nature. For Frost, beauty is a far cry from the decorous and social.

Frost sets many of these poems in Florida's Cedar Keys, amidst the nesting areas of birds, cottonmouth snakes, wetlands, and tidal rhythms. The reader undertakes a journey through a tropical summer, where strange scents and sounds are signs of the transient beauties the imagination may possess for a moment. Drawing brilliantly from nature and from art, from the rhythms of life and the furies of emotion, Frost rejects standard responses and dares to ask: how do we perceive the world? When is beauty not enough? Can we imagine Paradise? And, when nature ordains that death must come, and we weaken, how do we die?

About the Author
Carol Frost splits her time between Cedar Key, Florida, and upstate New York. She has won three Pushcart Prizes and been awarded two fellowships by the National Endowment of the Arts. Her books include Love and Scorn (2000), Venus and Don Juan (1996), and Pure (1994), all published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press.

"Only if the dark conceives it / must I think of beauty,' Carol Frost writes, and indeed it is this credible duality that informs and toughens these subtly rendered poems. In lesser hands this book would be merely gorgeous. In hers, by virtue of the pressures of syntax and form, we trust that her affirmations are complex, hard-won, finally—beautiful. A wonderful book."

—Stephen Dunn, author of Different Hours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"This is nothing less than a remarkable collection of poems. Throughout her career, Carol Frost has consistently recast our understanding of the lyric impulse in contemporary poetry. Her exquisite and measured vision of both the natural world and human complexity conspires with her fierce commitment to the power of art; and her astonishing formal invention is somehow delicate, discreet, and rapturous all at the same time. Carol Frost's poems are eloquent and elegant, exhibiting the ravishing lyric poise of one of our very finest American poets."

—David St. John

"Carol Frost's poems are the most intense discoveries imaginable. Nature is her province, the little fragile beauties, of course, but also the brassy, gutty, hard to reduce forces of darkness. I Will Say Beauty is composed of northern snows and Gulf Coast bayous, of hymns to fence wire and seabirdds and odes to deer hunting. She is a poet writing at the top of her powers with the ardor few can sustain, confident that beauty inhabits and is the world."

—Dave Smith