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Whirling Round the Sun

In her opening poem, "Ear Training for Poets," Suzanne Noguere asks what a poet—or anyone—should listen for in life. Her answer becomes a credo on body, nature, language, love, and mortality, introducing the themes of this book.

She writes movingly of our life as human beings—from the bewilderment of youth to the recognitions of middle age—but in the heart of this first collection her poems probe beneath the self to our very essence as corporeal beings and then beyond the self to nature. She captures the wild energy, beauty, and ferocity of the Amazon rain forest in a sonnet and explores in a long historical poem the tragic parallels between the American elm and the Iroquois. Here, as elsewhere in her work, the question she seeks to answer is: what is to be valued?

With five illustrations by artist David Wander

"I had never heard of Midmarch Arts Press until Suzanne Noguere’s extraordinarily fine debut volume appeared. Whirling Round the Sun reminds me more than a little of the work of Elizabeth Bishop and May Swenson—brilliantly polished poems that simultaneously move and delight. Noguere is a poet to watch."

—Dana Gioia, "The Year’s Best Poetry," Ink/New Times Book Supplement

"Whirling Round the Sun contains a number of sonnets which I regard as already settled into the permanent anthology: 'Pervigilium Veneris,' 'The Scribes,' the title poem, and 'With their heads.' It also contains one of the most remarkable poems in pure syllabics that I know of, 'Hands.'"

—Charles Martin

"Noguere’s nuance yields subtle but breathtaking results... That exploration leads inevitably to a series of love poems in the fourth section, irresistible for its range and inventiveness."

—H. L. Hix, Ploughshares


"[Noguere’s work] has the clarity of Millay as well as her strong attachment to the subject at hand. Without those... poetry is hardly worth reading. Whirling Round the Sun is worth reading; if you have a mind to, substantial portions of it are worth memorizing as treasures not to be left at home. Do yourself a favor; find Suzanne Noguere’s book. When you’re done with it, lend it to a friend."

—Arthur Mortensen, Expansive Poetry & Music Online Review

"Suzanne Noguere writes a poetry of discrimination. By finding exact points of comparison, her precise eye preserves the line between her own poetic inventions and what she observes. This scrupulousness is part of her appealing honesty and self-restraint... [Her poems] are all marked by her considerate understanding of the difference between the ego and the world. This is a brilliantly observed, deeply felt book."

—Tom Sleigh

"Noguere here gathers the work of 20 years into a collection remarkably consistent in theme, voice, and style. She is a celebrant, at times an ecstatic, as in the title poem, of the experience of life—perception, memory, and mystery... At her best she is capable of empathetic incantations like 'Horse Chestnut' or 'Self-Portrait.' As a poet speaking to poets, she displays extraordinary profundity and wit; she has the capacity to listen for 'How nature governs and what wisdom is.' For most poetry collections."

—Graham Christian, Library Journal