With his fourth collection of verse, The Creek at the End of the Lawns, Fisher delves into the minds and lives lived in both a village and a city. Trees and streets and haunted hills figure in these poems. How does one negotiate each day's path as well as the shadows of night? These poems suggest a person-a soul-doing so, or dying in the trying. Fisher's well-crafted narrative and lyric verse creates a conversation which draws the reader into an investigation of both life and self and assures that each reading of this book is a rare verbal and visual treat to be enjoyed again and again.
Naturalist, anti-war activist, lover of "the wolf-wise wind...on its never resting rounds," Ira Joe Fisher sets us beside himself over the years in the village of Annville where, with him, in summer we watch a gull stitch rain-filled clouds together and after a winter snow, know that "frost will flower the sidewalk." At times, the whole village is a tableau; at times, the poet sees through it as clearly as through the Allegheny he sees "the pebbles on the bottom."
The title poem is the dramatic story of "the boy" in his self-defining defiance of "the ghost of the village" being floated away by the creek only to come back with warm memories and grand love—full of humor, self-awareness, and joy.
—F. D. Reeve, author of The Blue Cat Occupies the Moon
Ira Joe Fisher is my friend but, it turns out, I don't know him at all. The man who tells me of "the day I found words" and warns me that "goodbyes / must be noted" and takes me to a place where "spring is more a hope than a season" is a stranger whose introspections are oddly unsettling in their raw artistry. To borrow from the old ballad, "Ira, I hardly knew ye."
—Nick Clooney, newsman and author of The Movies that Changed Us
Robert Frost, Ira Joe Fisher's and my maestro, famously said that writing poetry without rhyme or meter was like playing tennis with the net down. Fisher sets his nets about half-mast—his rhymes are mostly internal and his cadences entirely his own. I love this book (great title, by the way) for its specificity, its deep noticing, its passionate spirit, and a heart so full it seems about to explode.