cover of book

by Greg Miller
University of Chicago Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-0-226-52615-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-52614-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3563.I3787W38 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54



 The yellow and green rose, and the pink rock,

The chestnuts blooming, the cobblestone square,

Our Lady’s tower rising everywhere,

Dark timbered fronts; the mechanical clock

Whose rooster crows three times for Peter’s flock,

The Apostles, the old man’s and the child’s share

Of time—aspire I’d say to make me stare

And stop. I praise what I might otherwise mock,

The locked contingencies, the stock of losses,

Bright liquidity everywhere channeled,

A storied cityscape of destinies

Averted as when, turning, a young Turk tosses

His hands in the air and my chest’s pummeled,

“My brother, forgive me!” and my thoughts freeze.


In Watch, Greg Miller describes a fresh purposefulness in his life and achieves a new level of poetic thinking and composition in his writing. Artfully combining the religious and secular worldviews in his own sense of human culture, Miller complicates our understanding of all three. The poems in Watch sift layers of natural and human history across several continents, observing paintings, archeological digs, cityscapes, seascapes, landscapes—all in an attempt to envision a clear, grounded spiritual life. Employing an impressive array of traditional meters and various kinds of free verse, Miller’s poems celebrate communities both invented and real.

Praise for Iron Wheel

“Miller demonstrates that what Eliot said about reading a poem may be equally true of writing them: the best thing ‘is to be very, very intelligent’ and intelligence is not the same as erudition. Whether the world is made, found, or named, Miller offers an engaging portrait of things as they are.’’—David Orr, Poetry


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