Then, one hundred years later . . . D. B. Tompsett

In 1908, as the story goes, T. E. Hulme, wrote the first modern poem of the English language, 'A City Sunset,'  on the back of a hotel bill. Hulme wrote relatively few poems during his lifetime but was one of the first to define what was coming: Brevity, precision, understatement, and un-rhyming verse present the everyday and the ordinary. Hulme formed the Poetry Club in London, catching the attention of Ezra Pound. By 1912, Pound associated his term Imagiste with the new poetry. While Yeats dominated the first two decades of the twentieth century, in that short time from 1912 to 1917, Frost, Amy Lowell, Sandburg, Williams and Elliot all published their first influential works. Somewhere in there, it was Frost who famously described writing free verse to be ‘ . . . like playing tennis with the net down.'

One hundred years later, D. B. Tompsett is playing tennis with his net down on the Idaho plain; the only poet I know who can animate a desert outhouse, give her a paramour and communicate that pathos. Dan understands the temperament of a desert, for one. His job is agriculture and plant life. All the while, he moves in and out of reveries, a working man's surrealist: A cricket couple are hunted by dogs in a cornfield; the dogs grow bored of the chase; butterfly wings turned to toast; their bodies, small sausages; and he asks, already knowing the answer, which way do pumpkins really point? 

Hekate is thrilled to be working with him on a collaborative book. 


Fish are the eyes of the river.

Rocks, its vocal chords.

The river is deaf

and happy.

D.B. Tompsett