Michael Rattee

Greatest Hits: 1976-2006

Part of the Greatest Hits National Archive from Pudding House Publications, the chapbook includes twelve poems selected by the author from thirty years of writing. Each poem selected stands out in a unique way that is detailed in the author's introduction.

FAMOUS FORESTS

As you grow older you begin
living closer to the present
losing touch with the memory
of what the trees were like
before you moved to the desert
you sit holding a book of letters
written between two famous people
and try to recall the face
of your old friend a teacher
of biographies at the university
where you studied the lives
of the dead admired because
they were finished with
the disappointment of change
the forest where your grandparents
lived beyond the end of the road
now a growth of summerhouses
inhabited by the currently rich
you remember how on paper
a life could be made orderly
through the use of omission
so many trees saved by not
describing all those days
when nothing happened
when the famous sat alone
sipping drinks and thinking
of the simple things in life
recalling perhaps their own
grandparents chopping and stacking
wood for the winter in another
forest that no longer exists
in a year without a number
when they were dreaming of fame
and how it would change everything
how it would be like climbing
a tree to get a better view


Selected Works

Poetry
".. sure footed and dazzling"
--Richard Shelton
A one poem, handmade book.
A selection of twelve poems.
"Bravo!"
--Seed-In-Hand
Out-of-print first collection