The poems in Like Summer Grass offer their tender recollections of a family from the mother who stands by, learning to let go of the children in the ordinariness of time—the house a bit “untidy,” cheerios on the breakfast table, daddy and husband on hand, hearts full—leaving us “with a memory of longer days and childhood rising.”
~ Carol Frost, author of eleven books of poetry; four Pushcart Prizes
In Like Summer Grass, Barton plumbs the bittersweet depths of watching one’s children take flight, ‘the loss of [them] like summer/ grass before the season’s end.’ With unsentimental detail, the poet captures memory’s ability to seemingly close the spaces between giving birth and packing one’s daughter for college. A tender tribute to the emotions a mom often cannot explain.
~ Tania Runyan, poetry editor, Relief Journal, , author of Second Sky
“Stacy Barton is a sassy soothsayer. In Like Summer Grass—part-survivor manual, part- family scrapbook– she weighs the newly won freedom of the empty nest against the profound guilt of letting go. “I stand aside a necessary spectator to the miracle of [their] unveiling.” Not an enviable task for a mother of four and yet the results are equal parts awe and heartbreak.” —Richard Peabody, editor Gargoyle Magazine.
Like Summer Grass should be read and then read again. These songful poems, about the ache and exhilaration of motherhood are such a joy to read; they require attention and invite reflection. They are honest, tender, and emotionally provocative. “The image of you now gone floods me, sweeps the room to stillness
in the absence of your need.” They celebrate the home, honor the family, and offer a bracing antidote to the ironic skepticism favored these days in some literary circles.
~ John Dufresne, 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, author of No Regrets, Coyote
Stacy Barton looks at motherhood with a clear and generous gaze. Her wonderful poems let it all in—wonder, joy, pain, confusion, growth, fear, relief—with language that feels authentic with every line. She celebrates and mourns the fleeting nature of ever-changing family life with uncanny precision. ‘I see them still/ piled beside me, a mix of pillows/ elbows, knees.’ This is a collection that is both universal and very, very personal.
~ Susan Lilley, author of Satellite Beach, winner of Rita Dove Poetry Award
Barton’s poems ache with the grief that underscores our encounters with love and beauty and our impotence in trying to preserve or elongate them. Her keen awareness of time’s passing, of her children growing up and away into their future selves, ‘How I will listen/ just for the sound of you/wait for the sound of you/ long for the song you sing/ somewhere else,’ renders a tenderness, even a sacredness, to all the quotidian moments that eventually coalesce as motherhood.
~Allison Smythe, Texas Poetry Anthology, Press 53 Open Awards Anthology