Walking Through the Horizon


Poems by Margaret Holley
978-1-55728-812-7 (paper)
March 2006


Add to Cart

Attachment to the familiar and the challenge of leaving it for new horizons link the poems in this collection by Margaret Holley. The poems are full of feeling and wisdom in equal parts, and are enriched and informed by the poet’s landscape, whether it is Switzerland or Arizona. The landscape, in fact, becomes a kind of mirror we gaze into to see the future that at every turn is approaching and moving through us to illuminate the past.

The journey of this book shows how the conditions of our lives are illumined by our cultural forbears—Goethe, Chopin, Nietzsche, Bonnard, Klee—by the heritage of personal memory, and by the ever amazing “book of nature.” A book remarkable for the complete authenticity of its feeling and candor, Walking Through the Horizon shows us the simultaneity of the past and the future and is grounds for hopefulness and joy: “These are gifts worth passing on: / the beckoning vista, the sudden frontier, / the rivers of days and years to come.”

Margaret Holley works in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. She was formerly director of the creative writing program at Bryn Mawr. Her previous poetry collections are The Smoke Tree (Winner of the Bluestem Award), Morning Star, Kore in Bloom, and Beyond Me. She is also the author of The Poetry of Marianne Moore: A Study in Voice and Value.

“In her beautiful new collection of poems Margaret Holley writes with a rare and compelling intensity of her move to a new city and a new life. She does this by creating vivid contrasts between dailiness and an expansive vision beyond it—the immediate, sometimes chaotic, world of the present and the permanence of art and myth.”
—Grace Schulman

“Holley deserves a wider audience.”
—Mary Oliver, author of Why I Wake Early

“Margaret Holley’s new poems seem to partake both of the leaf-shadow of the old Northeast and of the stunned sunlight of the new Southwest. The scars of ordinary human experience are everywhere apparent, but are ameliorated by the balance and temperance of her language. Holley’s westward migration, in Walking Through the Horizon, is a quintessentially American passage out of childhood and into adulthood.”
—Karl Kirchwey, author of The Engrafted Word and At the Palace of Jove