Second Printing Three Months After PublicationThird Printing 18 Months After Publication

Booklist’s
TOP TEN BOOKS OF POETRY PUBLISHED IN 1999


David Budbill

134 pgs., 5.5″ x 9″, ISBN: 1-55659-133-0
$14.00

Support a local, independent bookstore,
order this book from:

The Galaxy Bookshop

or from:

COPPER CANYON PRESS
P.O. Box 271
Port Townsend, WA 98368
phone: (360) 385-4925, fax: (360) 385-4985

coppercanyon@olympus.net

www.ccpress.org

Poems from
MOMENT TO MOMENT: POEMS OF A MOUNTAIN RECLUSE
that have aired on Garrison Keillor’s
A WRITER’S ALMANAC

***

Dec 8, 1999– “The Three Goals”
Dec 15, 1999– “What It is Like to Read The Ancients”
Dec 20, 1999– “Trying to be Who I Am” and “On the Road to Buddahood”
Jan 5, 2000– “The Sixth of January”
Feb 18, 2000– “Dilemma” and “In the Ancient Tradition”
Apr 2, 2000– “Bugs in a Bowl”
Oct 3, 2000–“Stillness, O, Stillness”
Dec 8, 2000–“The Three Goals”
Jan 5, 2001–“The Sixth of January”
Feb 18, 2001– “Dilemma” and “In the Ancient Tradition”
Apr 2, 2001– “Bugs in a Bowl”
Apr 9, 2001–“The First Green of Spring”
Feb 18, 2002– “Dilemma” and “In the Ancient Tradition”
Apr 9, 2002–“The First Green of Spring”

 


 

Responses to:
MOMENT TO MOMENT:
POEMS OF A MOUNTAIN RECLUSE

by
David Budbill

 

Too often, poetry makes some of us feel like the skilled words of an expert are bouncing off a simpleton. Or that the poet is more gifted with verbal skills than depth of experience. What a great joy to experience [in MOMENT TO MOMENT] that realm where self and poet unite and disappear in common experience. Li Po, you rascal, pretending to be dead! And how wonderful that you’ve mastered English.

Teido Bill Stephens
Blue Ridge Zen Group
Earlysville, VA
April 2001
http://home.adelphia.net/~brzen

 

Look how much one slim book can give you to think about and feel.

Linda Ramsdell
slate.com, December 22, 2000

 

Adopting the persona of a legendary Chinese hermit poet, Budbill takes his folksy, plain-speaking style to new levels of profound simplicity, alternately relishing his isolated life in the mountains and decrying the loneliness that isolation brings: “moaning about his fate/yet singing still/the melancholy sweetness/of this life.” Budbill is the perfect antidote for those who find contemporary poetry distanced and obscure.

Bill Ott
AMERICAN LIBRARIES, November 1999

 

…a recognizable immediacy and honesty, accompanied by an endearing wit….Budbill’s economical, brush-stroke approach…evinces a hard-won clarity, a pure, human tone among the many portentous self-advertisements and stridencies so often heard in poetry these days.

Fred Muratori
LIBRARY JOURNAL, 15 Sept 1999

 

What these poems have is a truly unusual vision…They are restorative; solace in this painful world. I am moved and calmed.

Hayden Carruth

 

Judevine Mountain can be hilarious, as when he gripes ‘What good is my humility/when I am/stuck/in this/obscurity?’ Other poems strike more Han Shan-like notes by appreciating the beauties of solitude in nature, the consolations of art and poetry, the joys of friendship with occasional visitors, and the bittersweetness of life’s brevity.

Ray Olson
BOOKLIST, (starred review) 1 Sept 99

 

Perhaps the most striking thing about Budbill’s latest poems is their absolute clarity of expression. Clarity like this sounds simple, but does not come easily. It takes a fine poet with a good ear and an open heart to express such truths.

Tom Slayton, Commentator,
VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO, 7 Oct 99

 

Deeply rooted in nature and in the human heart, [these] poems…bring new insights and hope to our troubled world. They really do shine with tough-minded hope.

Howard Frank Mosher

 

Complicated and engaging, self-deprecating and glib, Judevine proves to be an accomplished poet of the mind. . . . [In a] voice–effortless, fluid, wryly self-conscious . . . the poet’s persona comes through strong and true–a middle-aged man facing his mortality and clinging to verse for consolation . . . His terse, epigrammatic lyrics are a lilting mirror of classical Chinese poetry. No doubt, Li Po. and Han Shan would be proud.

Arlice Davenport
THE WICHITA EAGLE, Oct 3, 1999

 

Replete with love for the planet, deft complaint yet no whining, [and] unmitigated and funny self-indictment,…these are uncanny, beautiful…poems.

Howard Norman

 


 

WHAT ISSA HEARD
 

Two hundred years ago Issa heard the morning birds
singing sutras to this suffering world.
I heard them too, this morning, which must meansince we will always have a suffering world
we must also always have a song.
 

 

 


 

 

The only known photograph of the hermit/recluse Judevine Mountain
 

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Apr

16

2012

JUDEVINE


The Complete Poems

by

DAVID BUDBILL

Originally published in 1991 and now in 1999 republished

in a

REVISED EDITION

 

Support a local, independent bookstore,
order this book from:

The Galaxy Bookshop
 

 

* * * 
 

“Budbill writes out of the real, contemporary, New England, not from the past, not from the cellar holes. He speaks from the New England which is Appalachia–poverty, exploitation and good people . . . with its trailers, its mad widows, its farmers expropriated by agribusiness. . . . Looking at the reality closely, he sees parts move in a unison–sometimes graceless, sometimes ugly, always resolved in a human wholeness.”

Donald Hall

 


The setting for Judevine happens to be the hills of rural northern New England, but it could be any place in America where poverty prevails and where the natural world is still a factor in people’s daily lives. David Budbill has been writing his lyrical, dark, funny, narrative poems about the people of Judevine for the past twenty years. This collection–which includes a number of poems never before published–brings them all together for the first time. But the result is more than a collection of individual poems: Judevinebecomes one continuous story with the form and feeling of an epic poem or a poetic novel.

 

David Budbill is one of the rare voices in modern American poetry–a writer who can see and speak outside of himself, who has what Wendell Berry calls “a loving interest in other people.” He writes with a direct simplicity and a deep passion.

 

Of his unforgettable characters, the poet Thomas McGrath once wrote, ” I know people of the kind David Budbill writes about and I am continually surprised at his ability to dramatize lives that seem outwardly so undramatic. Without him these people would not be heard from.”

 

And indeed, this is Budbill’s great achievement: In Judevine he has written a new American song–a song of the down-and-out, of the neglected and ignored, a song of the unsung.


 

Here’s what some other people have been saying about Judevine.

 

For twenty years, David Budbill has been writing about his small-town and rural Vermont neighbors–tree-farm laborers, mechanics, junk (“antique”) dealers, hardscrabble farmers–some of the most direct and clear-eyed poems of the half-century, at least . . . .
Budbill’s poems are prosaically straightforward and easy to read, but they have the rhythmic life of the best of Jeffers and are as large-souled and democratic as Whitman.
Although as full of New England salt as Frost’s, they are far more compassionate, more Christian in the finest sense of the word. For Budbill’s personae are the poor and oppressed, and he is as staunchly their advocate . . . as Sanburg ever was of “the People, yes.”
He is emotional . . . but not sentimental: his greatest single character, foul-mouthed Acadian laborer Antoine LaMotte, is as gross–and as vital–as Chaucer’s Wife of Bath.
Many are going to say Judevine is as good as Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Okay, but off the mark: Judevine may be better thought of as the book James Agee was ultimately too pious and too distanced from his subjects to write.
Judevine is a great book.

Ray Olson
Booklist

David Budbill’s . . . poetry is as accessible as a parking lot and as plain as a pair of Levis. [These poems are] a labor of love not in the usual sense that the artist can be seen to love the labor he performs but because he can be seen to love the place and the people he’s writing about.

Thomas Disch
Parnassus

Budbill is a poet, I might say a musician, after my own heart. Without ever resorting to established forms or the least contrivance, he uses tones, textures, and melodic, harmonic, and echoic elements as a musician would, and his work is a delight to read, invariably. What strikes me most about David Budbill is the intensity of his commitment, not simply to poetry, but to the human need from which poetry – if it is real poetry – has always risen. Judevine is an extremely various, wide-ranging collection of stories and memoirs – in effect a novel – about a small town in Vermont and its inhabitants and history. With Checkhovian insight, Budbill uncovers, through the American lives of the people of Judevine, the whole extent of his concern – which is ours, though we may not always know it – for the world, for peace, for love and justice, for understanding. To do so much he must be very resourceful – lyrical, exalted, funny, sometimes mean, always colorful – and he is.”

Hayden Carruth

 

“Unlike ninety-eight percent of living American poets, David Budbill has a subject. His Judevine is full of loving interest in other people and in what I still insist on calling the real world. Budbill both informs and moves and he is, in short, a delight and a comfort.”

Wendell Berry

Budbill writes with tremendous authority, high and low humor (some of this is very very funny), and an unembarrassed passion for the community and the individuals in it.
Here is everything we are so often told is missing from contemporary poetry: it is rooted in the soil of the community, not the ego of the poet; it is magnanimous in scale and in spirit; it makes a grand music of many voices–crying out to be read aloud; it is academic only as Chaucer is academic.
Budbill lives by Camus’ injunction in his Nobel prize speech: “It’s a part of a writer’s duty to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

The Beloit Poetry Journal

 

“David Budbill gets his instinct to tell a tale from Chaucer; his sense of poetry, of worship, from the Second Shepherd’s Play. There is no irony in his treatment of these rural Vermont folk. No condescension either. They are their own persons.

Grace Paley

  

“…one of the most original and accessible poets at work today.

Howard Frank Mosher

“Budbill’s is an important voice, part of the nascent movement to bring out views of New England’s native poor from the long-vanished world of Ethan Frome to the like to the Beans of Egypt, Maine. Essential.”

Ron Schmieder
Library Journal

 

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by

David Budbill

Drawings by Lois Eby

* * *

 

White Pine Press , 1987

5.5 x 8.5, 72 pages, $7.00 paper

ISBN: 0-934834-14-8

* * *

CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT

Search Used Bookstores

* * *

WHY I CAME TO JUDEVINE–a continuation of the poems begun with THE CHAIN SAW DANCE, FROM DOWN TO THE VILLAGE and PULP CUTTERS’ NATIVITY–is, again, an interconnected series of pieces about the lives and loves of the people who live in Judevine–many of them now scenes from the author’s enormously popular and critically acclaimed poem/play JUDEVINE.

Included in this collection is the powerful and vivid story/poem “Why I Came to Judevine,” about the author’s childhood in Cleveland.

This book also introduces Grace, the bitter and angry young woman whose love affair with Tommy Stames ends in tragedy and madness.

Also included here are more outbursts from the irrepressible and joyously indomitable Antoine, and much more.

Again, the author blends the hilariously funny and painfully sad into a big-hearted, clear-eyed portrait of humanity through what Wendell Berry refers to as “David Budbill’s loving interest in other people.”

Most but not all of the poems in WHY I CAME TO JUDEVINE are included in JUDEVINE.



 

Poetry that somehow makes oil and gasoline smell like incense.

The Christian Century

A gut-grabbing sense of what makes individuals tick.

Herald News (Passaic, New Jersey)

Biting, painful, yet his affection pounds through on every line

The Beloit Poetry Journal

Budbill’s naturalism escapes from desperation in the intense pleasure of sexual love…there is no finer source for poetry.

Small Press Review

One of the most original and accessible poets at work today.

Howard Frank Mosher

 



 

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by

David Budbill

Introduction by John Haines

Drawings by Lois Eby 

* * *

first published by
The Ark
as The Ark #15
in 1981

 

* * *

OUT OF PRINT

Search Used Bookstores

* * *

FROM DOWN TO THE VILLAGE, a continuation of the Judevine poems begun with THE CHAIN SAW DANCE, is an interconnected series of poems about Judevine village–poems about shopkeepers, young people, old people, a welder, an old mill, a junk store, a lawn sale, a dog, town officials, town fathers, town derelicts, food, people who are in, people who are out, people from the past, about the highway, the railroad, the river, and including the well-known “Raymond and Ann” which was originally published in Harper’s Magazine.

This is a book about love and longing, invention and loneliness, madness and joy, about the fears of nuclear war and the pleasures of daily life.

All the poems in FROM DOWN TO THE VILLAGE are included in JUDEVINE.

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A Christmas Poem in Two Acts


being
a contemporary adaptation of the
medieval English miracle play
The Second Shepherds’ Play

by

David Budbill

* * *

Drawings by Lois Eby

* * *

Countryman Press , 1981

ISBN: 0-914378-79-1

ISBN: 0-914378-80-5 (pbk)

* * *

OUT OF PRINT

Search Used Bookstores

* * *

PULP CUTTERS’ NATIVITY is a funny and sad, raucous and raunchy, devout and foreboding drama in which characters from JUDEVINE return to act out a modern adaptation of “The Second Shepherds’ Play.”

Three Judevine woodcutters, Antoine, Doug and Tommy, take the place of the 15th century shepherds and a stolen chain saw replaces the stolen lamb. Judevine’s Arnie also returns to become the thief, and Arnie’s cantankerous and conniving wife, Gil plays the original Gil. In this version the Announcing and Attending Angel is a waitress from the local diner.

PULP CUTTERS’ NATIVITY follows the structure of the original 15th century English play “religiously” and diverges from it only at the end where I move the singing forward a little and indulge a modern fear and foreboding as ill fated Tommy Stames sees in The Baby Jesus a vision of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and himself.

For those of you who know JUDEVINE, “At The Landing,” the third scene in Act II of JUDEVINE, is the first scene of PULP CUTTERS’ NATIVITY.

PULP CUTTERS’ NATIVITY is also Act II of the play TWO FOR CHRISTMAS.

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