Stonework is published by Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in New York’s rural Genesee Valley. Stonework seeks a diverse mix of mature and emerging voices in fellowship with the evangelical tradition. Published twice a year, the journal reflects the arts community at Houghton College where excellence in music, writing, and the visual arts has long been a distinctive.

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  • Issue 6
    Poetry by Paul Willis and Thom Satterlee. Fiction and interview with Lori Huth. Essay by James Wardwell, and student poets from Christian campuses.
  • Issue 5
    Poetry by Susanna Childress and Debra Rienstra. Fiction excerpt by Emilie Griffin. Art from Houghton's 2007 presidential inauguration and a forum on women writing.
  • Issue 4
    Matthew Roth--new poems. Diane Glancy--from One of Us and an interview. John Tatter-on gardens and poetry. The Landscapes of John Rhett. Stephen Woolsey--on the poetry of Jack Clemo. James Wardwell--on Herrick.
  • Issue 3
    Poetry by Julia Kasdorf, Robert Siegel and Sandra Duguid. Fiction by Tom Noyes. The portraits of Alieen Ortlip Shea. An anthology of Australian Poets
  • Issue 2
    Thom Satterlee - Poems from Burning Wycliff with an appreciation by David Perkins. Alison Gresik - new fiction and an interview. James Zoller - Poems from Living on the Floodplain.
  • Issue 1
    Luci Shaw — new poems with an appreciation by Eugene H. Peterson & Hugh Cook — new fiction and an interview

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


~Matthew Roth

In “The Boy of Winander” Wordsworth paints
the youth lakeside. He’s calling out to owls
at dusk, his small hands cupped around his mouth,
and when at last they don’t call back, the void
they leave resides not in the air that fails
to tremble with their song but in his own
deep double self, whose heart receives instead,
though he himself is unaware, “the voice
Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene . . .
With all its solemn imagery.” All these
he carries “far into his heart,” as if
the distance there conceived is not
outward at all, instead begins at the ear
or eye, the tongue or skin, whichever sense,
absent mind, gathers the impression in.

Does it matter that, in an early draft,
at the moment the owl fails to call,
Wordsworth becomes himself the boy: “my call,”
“my skill,” “I hung,” he says, “[l]istening” for
what never came. Or that, in later drafts,
when Wordsworth slays the boy—“was taken
from his Mates”—the third person is retained
throughout? Or how, in its final version—
a poor sequel he should have left undone—
Wordsworth returns again, as from the dead,
and stews upon the grave, which “hangs” halfway
between the valley and that uncertain sky
the boy once took into his heart, as if
he were himself the steady, mirror lake?

It’s but one more migration, self to other
self, “other I” our lyric turn requires.
What was it, after all, the boy desired?
Just this: to hear his coarse cry echo back
in a voice more alien and more true. It’s all
that any poet wants, our ageless task
and one more proof that Wordsworth was the boy
he killed, his death a mirror death of form
without matter, hard stars in the black of the lake.