Cover image for Grayscale : poems
Grayscale : poems
Huddle, David, 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
56 pages ; 25 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3558.U287 G73 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In his compelling new collection, David Huddle writes. We think / we stand in the vivid color of here and now / and view the past as drab black and white, / whereas the truth is - it's our future / that's the off-center, badly focused grayscale. Spiraling between the tenses of time, David Huddle creates in these vibrant poems a defense against the encroachment of age through the resources of language and memory, imagination and art. Moments recollected from his own life and family seem appealingly familiar; a teenage dance, Grandmama's morning coffee, young daughters playing dolls. With age, wonder has become understanding, and so when intimations of his death arise in the midst of sharing a joke with his children, the poet shows us the comfort and peace that murky prospect may hold. Undaunted, Huddle gives us in Grayscale not false hopes about our lives but a range of ways to transcend their limits.

Author Notes

David Huddle has taught literature & creative writing at the University of Vermont since 1971. His poetry, fiction, & essays have appeared in "Esquire," "Harper's Magazine," the "New York Times Magazine," "Ploughshares," & "The Best American Short Stories."

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Huddle's poems are so clear, concrete, and anecdotal that even the most reluctant poetry reader will be seduced, but this is not to say that these are simple poems or one-dimensional works. No, these are neatly compressed, cleverly constructed, adeptly rhythmic, and edgy creations rife with conflicting feelings and a sobering awareness of time. Huddle begins his fifth collection with studies of old family photographs, introducing the concept of the gray scale as a gauge for the black-and-white stasis of memory, the brilliance of the present, the haziness of the future. Bemused and grateful, he calls up the tangiest of his Virginia-based teenage memories, precious and baffling moments of the body's erotic awakenings. Huddle then shifts to nature, penguins in particular, but instead of sharing the revelations of personal observation, he wryly considers our dependence on television for news of the wild, on Jane Goodall for communion with animals. An outstanding novelist as well as a forthright poet, Huddle is a source of light in an often gray world. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Three Generations of Blue Ridge Mountain Women Speak Across Timep. 1
Huddle Brothers; Ivanhoe, Virginia; Circa 1963p. 2
Changep. 3
1955p. 5
Inheritancep. 6
Natural Pedagogyp. 7
Myself in Retrospectp. 8
Return of the Dinosaursp. 9
Public Placep. 11
Crossing New Riverp. 12
April Saturdayp. 14
Anything Goesp. 19
Pornography in Hellp. 20
Banyanp. 22
Is There Anybody Here I Can Say Goodbye To?p. 23
Brief Essay on Painp. 27
Deathlightp. 29
Remarkable Birdsong in Denton, Texasp. 30
The Poem, the Snow, Jane Goodall, the Vase of Daffodilsp. 32
The Penguin Sonatas
1. Mythp. 38
2. Work Weekp. 39
3. The Penguin Sonatasp. 42
4. Free Timep. 44
5. Put a Little Structure in Itp. 48
6. Everyday Life at the Penguin Farmp. 50
Curse Poemp. 51
Life on the Planetp. 52
Serpentine Wallp. 54
Circusp. 55