The Iron City
- List Price: $35.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
- Publish date: 05/01/2000
These vivid narrative and lyrical poems focus on scenes and characters from the coal-and-steel producing regions of Alabama, an unlikely but rich source for meditations on the hidden emotions of our lives.
The iron city is a world in which a child and the people around him are trapped in the mystery of their surroundings, trying to reach toward love, understanding, and clarity. Acclaimed poet John Bensko creates powerful images of enclosed spaces, both physical and emotional, and of the surprising radiance they evoke. Through the central metaphor of a raw material that contains not only its history ("Memory of delicate / Ferns, leaves, bones of fishes") but its future ("Coal, the rock that burns"). The Iron City explores the chasm between child and adult, musing over veins depleted, resources misused, and the glint of promise deep underground.