Todd's second poetry collection from W. W. Norton & Company, Pitch, was a 2012-13 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and won the Midwest Bookseller's Choice Award, among other honors.
There is a rich physicality in
all of Todd Boss’s poems, a reverent
gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life. His poems are about
matter in motion… The poems in Pitch are never pretentious but always
acrobatic, sensuous, technically
inventive, muscular, and fun.
— Tony Hoagland
To say that the poems in Pitch tend toward music is to state the obvious. Consider the multiple meanings of the book’s title. Consider the collection’s table of contents: poems called “Three Funeral Songs” or “A Waltz for the Lovelorn.”
There’s more than a little country twang in “Luckenbach,” just as there’s
Bach and Bartok in “Overtures on an Overturned Piano.” In Pitch, one feels
in the presence of both a soloist and a skilled composer. — Connie Wanek
The collection opens with these poems, which contextualize the rest of the book, by drawing from Todd's agricultural roots:
It Is Enough to Enter Click here to hear Todd read poems from Pitch.
halls of museums, for
the chambers of churches,
no more than the beauty
remember the graveness
of stone, or
whatever. You don’t
have to do any
better. You don’t have to
the liturgy or know history
to feel holy
in a gallery or presbytery.
It is enough
to have come just so far.
not be opened any more
a door, standing ajar.
Pitch was inspired by a true story: The time my father lost the family piano off the back of his pickup truck near our Wisconsin farm when I was 12. The resulting poem, "Overtures on an Overturned Piano," is one of my favorite things to read to a crowd. My poems often tell stories, and utilize humor and surprise. Where would we be without stories, humor, or surprise?