Working Class

Working Class

by Robert Stewart


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The poems in Working Class integrate the experiences of construction labor, Sicilian roots, family and spiritual life.  The focus on religious training and physical work appear in poems such as “Lucky Old Men,” and “Pretty Girls in Tight Jeans in Church.” These mostly free-verse poems incorporate subtle metrics, rhymes, and stanza structures to make the poems both accessible and lyrical. The writer Phillip Lopate has said of Stewart’s previous poems, “The knowledge is hard-won, the craft impressive.” Poems such as “Birds of the South” and “Baptiste Bakery,” expand the range of imagery to include travels to the tropics and to Europe—in the poem “Fiesole,” the author visits Italy, his ancestral country, with his 16-year-old son, to explore themes of immigration, fatherhood, and renewal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622881772
Publisher: Stephen F. Austin University Press
Publication date: 12/11/2017
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Stewart’s previous books include Plumbers (poems) and The Narrow Gate: Essays on Writing, Art & Values.  He has won a National Magazine Award as editor of the journal New Letters, published by the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Table of Contents


Translations, a Psalm 15

71 Hwy at the Moment of Change 17

Headlights in the Pasture 18

Eucharist of the Ear 20

Pretty Girls in Tight Jeans in Church 21

Now That the Dog Is Deaf 23

Given, Rats 24

Ice and Freezing Rain 26

No Theory 28

Baptiste Bakery 31


Aves 35

St. Augustine's Oklahoma 38

Yes, Thou Art 41

The Chaplain I Lie With 43

Body of Christ 44

Day Lily 46

Pigeon Feathers 48

Town of Cinisi 50

Brewery Job 52


Year Turn 57

To a Turtle 58

Suburb Chickens 59

Eclipse, Again 61

It's an Egg 62

Palm Sunday 64

Tilt 66

Understanding 68

The Job Left to Do 69

To My Son, From a Cabin on the Train 70

Fiesole 72

20-Yard Dumpster 74


Silent Running 79

The Second Lesson 82

Lucky Old Men 84

Last Days of the Mafia in St. Louis 86

"Familiar Matter of Today" 88

Clues to a Drowning 89

Birds of the South 90

Mud Daubers 92


Kansas City, MO

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