Keep and Give Away

Keep and Give Away


Poems of discovery and loss pull the magical from the mundane

Keep and Give Away was selected by Terrance Hayes as the inaugural winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize sponsored by the South Carolina Poetry Initiative.

In her first full-length collection, Susan Meyers guides us through her examination of life's ordinary moments and the seemingly ordinary images that abide in them to reveal the extraordinary. From minutia to marriage, crumbs to crows, nothing is too commonplace to escape her attention as she traverses terrains of childhood, loss, relationships, and death. Mostly lyrical and often elegiac, the poems of Keep and Give Away move along the rifts between the past and present, the lived and desired. The dominant emotions of the verses are deepened by observations rooted in our natural world, where birds are "yeses quickening the air" and the sky can "lap you up, and up." In the book's final section, marriage poems turn to fishing and gardening for their truths, contemplations that recognize the realities of a world governed by luck, imperfection, contraries, and—most of all—love.

  • Cover
  • Contents
  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Trying to Get It Right
    • Contraries
    • Your Mother Forbids You to Leave the Yard
    • That Year
    • Ghazal of the Past
    • Late One Friday Afternoon
    • A Good Idea
    • Primary Lessons
    • Trying to Get It Right
    • Sorry
    • Her Best Note
    • Cradle and All
    • Washing the Breakfast Dishes, I Decide
    • Villanelle for Gertrude Stein
    • Alterations
    • Mother, Washing Dishes
    • October Song
    • My Mother, Her Mornings
    • Daughter
  • Need Has Nothing to Do with It
    • An Early Spring Morning of My Mother’s Decline
    • Selling My Mother’s House
    • Her Porch, Her Yard
    • October, What the Mountains Say
    • Still Water
    • Something Green, for My Mother
    • Weather
    • Someone Near Is Dying
    • Prayer
    • Cavities
    • Emergency Room
    • Fifty-four Days
    • Breath
    • Sweetgum in January
    • What the Season Has Come To
    • Hat of Many Goldfinches
  • Small Bones of Contention
    • A Counting
    • Morning Song
    • Guitar
    • The One Place
    • The Catch
    • Key West Elegy
    • Shelling: Ars Poetica
    • Fisher’s Luck
    • Fishing the Edisto
    • Awaiting My Brother’s Pathology Report, My Husband and I Take to the River
    • Koi
    • Out in the Cold with the Crows
    • Counting on the Slightest Chance
    • Small Bones of Contention
    • How the Living Worry
    • Our Manifold Sins
    • Love Poem Gone Astray
    • Planting, the Second Year
    • The Wheelbarrower
    • Neither the Season, Nor the Place
    • Keep and Give Away



By subscribing, you accept our Privacy Policy