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The Day Underneath the Day

TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2001

Read sample poems from this book.

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E-mail the author at cdaleyoung at cdaleyoung dot com


The first book of poetry by a promising young writer

The Day Underneath the Day book cover

Gifted with a vivid and exact skill, Young's writing resembles an intricate anatomy lesson. His powers of observation probe the small energies of the natural world. Again and again the ordinary details of life transform themselves under the delicate pressure of his words-the movement of birds' wings, the color and texture of tropical flowers, the study of the ocean waves, the "scalpel of light" cutting through the beginning of the day. The language of Young's poems evokes an ultimate sense of place through a gorgeous marriage of tone and diction that echoes James Merrill and Amy Clampitt. As he meticulously maps out human passions and emotions, he explores both the surfaces and depths of everything that he surveys. His confident and polished verse unfolds intricate layers of landscape, seeking the order that lies beneath the unruly patterns of our lives.

Praise for C. Dale Young

"Because he is a physician as well as a poet, C. Dale Young straddles the realm of science and the world of emotion. In The Day Underneath the Day, he confidently locates himself at the crucial intersection between body and soul, invoking that foremost of American poet-healers, William Carlos Williams...." Washington Post Book World, January 13, 2002

"Young is a fascinating poet by any standard. Formally, his rich, arresting imagery, sensuous language, and revelry in the natural worldseem quite similar to William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson, or William Wordsworth. Young's poetry also exhibits post-colonial tensions, where the poet, who was formerly an insider, now returns home from self-imposed exile only to feel at once attached and estranged. Almost the entire final section of The Day [Underneath the Day] investigates colonial aspects of Caribbean history, from the ruins of Spanish marbled esplanades to children unwittingly singing 'Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves.' Young concludes the book with a four-part sequence titled 'Imago,' a subversive yet lyrically entrancing depiction of Christobal Colon's Spanish invasion into the Caribbean islands."—Omaar Hena, VERSE magazine

"The Day Underneath the Day is very much a book of inquiry: how do we negotiate safe passage over the mare incognita that is variously art and the making of it, the body and the mystery of it, identity both inherited and imposed? These are poems of formal grace and slant homage, map-and-dazzle, a vision as lush as it is-refreshingly-exacting." —Carl Phillips

"This book is dignified, subtle, feelingful, and delicate. I admire the understated thoughtfulness of many of these poems, their willingness to flirt with the metaphysical while remaining deeply motivated by the visual, tactile world." —Rosanna Warren

"Accomplished…. His style is sensuous and fine, with a special care for the exact word." —Donald Justice