Four Trees Down Cover

Four Trees Down From Ponte Sisto

Dallas Poets Community Press, 2006
Winner Dallas Poets Community 2006 Chapbook Contest
Copies available from Sharon Charde
($7 per copy + $2 postage)


How can we live through the unbearable? Every day we see it on the news, or hear it from neighbors---and then it happens to us. Sharon Charde has walked through what she couldn’t bear and born it--and here is the crucial evidence--these spare, accurate, fiercely unsentimental poems make a shining bridge of tears. We can stand on this miraculous bridge--and if the view breaks our hearts--good--it might also break them wide open.

Marie Howe
The Good Thief, What The Living Do

These poems describe a family’s unspeakable grief--grief so intense, so pure, it “is rapture, really/ the untainted longing/ the total clarity.” With language both precise and beautiful, and through insights grounded in sharp images and concrete details, Charde shows us how we might all deal with the terror of such a loss--terror  that, eventually, her poems tell us, “gets quieter, but never sleeps.”

Casey Huff, editor, 
Flume Press, Chico, Calif.

I think they are wonderful poems, the kind of poems that have to be written and read. Do not give up on this book until you have read the last poem, “Every Spring.” Be sure to read all the others before you read that one. Read it all the way through. To the last seven lines. Then read it again, if you can.

Charles Van Doren
A History of Knowledge



an absolute purity
within the borders
and without

everything slow
like the shimmer of heat
off summer asphalt

everything dry
like grains of dirt
in a drought

a hummingbird whirring
at the honeysuckle
hollyhocks higher
than the barn roof

all equal here

a shared condition

doesn't everyone die?
doesn't everyone seek rapture?

and this is rapture, really
the untainted longing
the total clarity

the utter, immaculate emptiness