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Fool's Gold: Poems

Norman Schaefer

During the writing of The Sunny Top of California: Sierra Nevada Poems & a Story, Norman Schaefer was also working on a collection of shorter poems. Originally inspired by Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North whose images were spare, clean, but vivid with insight, he went on to study Saigyo, Sappho, Pound, Rexroth, and anyone on the trail toward little poems of clarity. The search for precision in language, the intensity of meaning sharp and essential, became a project, which led to the completion of Fool’s Gold. These poems do not adhere to any particular form such as haiku or waka, but simply aim for that ringing bell of lucid experience. As the title reflects, sometimes one must realize that not all is what it seems, yet this too must be addressed. Fool’s Gold reads like correspondence amongst one’s many selves—past, present, future—and everyone you’ve ever loved.

Every morning there are scars, wrinkles,
stubble, and the same yellow teeth.
Mirrors have always mistaken me
for someone else.


Norman Schaefer lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

Published By La Alameda Press

6 x 8.25 in. 96 pages