Results of the Yale Younger Poets Prize in the year 1993.
Stone Crop is a collection of poems written over the past ten years. Many of the poems represent Gladding’s attempts to synthesize landscape with sensibility, to restore the organic world’s hold on our human imagination—its gossip value. Other poems try to find an effective political language, free of diatribe but not of outrage, frequently using mythical counterparts to make contemporary events resonate. The poems have other traits in common. Their attention often moves from the thing to its name, underscoring Gladding’s conviction that the same organic processes generate both. Many wrestle with their metaphors, expressing the poet’s attraction to and suspicion of that poetic device. Many layer images, aiming toward texture rather than pronouncement. And most are, at least to some degree, autobiographical.