By Susan Stewart
In her long-awaited fourth ebook of poetry, Susan Stewart offers us a chain of appropriate, numinous poems approximately truths discovered with the brain yet let loose in the course of the senses. Modeled at the seventeenth-century perform of century types, or books of 1 hundred pages, Columbarium expresses the bond among the residing and the useless in voices of dad or mum to baby, lover to liked, and mortal to the gods. The e-book arrives as a meditative present from certainly one of our most precious poet-critics.
Stewart frames her Columbarium with 4 poems harking back to the elements-to their harmful and inventive features and to their roles within the human and greater than human worlds. either nest and crypt, the book's heart holds an alphabet of "shadow georgics," poems of guide and doubt that hyperlink wisdom and the subconscious. Questions of mortality, of goodness and ache, and of the fragility and tool of reminiscence animate those poems. in a single poem an apple calls the narrator again from the lifeless to take pleasure in the echoes of its forms in fable and literature. In one other, the seeds of a pear tree demonstrate the fundamental harmony that makes the variety of lifestyles possible.
Stewart's Columbarium is either a memorial to the useless and a testomony to life.
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Extra info for Columbarium
So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degree it was gone down. —Isaiah 38:8 In the book of Isaiah, God saves a man’s life by pushing back a sun-dial’s shadow exactly ten degrees. That night when you were inconsolable, damp with fever and pain and cried until your cry was gone, you, too, needed ten degrees for the white blood cells to stop their milling frenzy, for the infant ticking of your brain to go on. And just as at noontime on a beach in summer a shadow will fall all at once on the sand from a slip of cirrus that arrives out of nowhere, then goes back, • 48 • a stray wisp, into the blue, they were granted.
If you’re interested in immortality it's best to plant a tree, and even then you can't be sure that form • 25 • will last under weather. The tree can break apart in a storm or be torqued into pieces over many years from the weight of its ruddy labor. The state won't let you burn the wood in the open air; the smoke is too dense for breathing. But apple-wood makes a lovely fire, with excellent heat and aroma. Fire will take in whatever it can and heat will draw back into earth. “Here is the fruit, your reward and penalty at once,” said the god to the waiting figures.
That there should be something where before there was nothing. Then the fervent hours of catching and pretending, the dreaming hours of strings and lucky stones. If you touch one of your hands with another, the one that touches will seem alive, the other like an object to be awakened. • 42 • When winter ended, the doors were rolled back and the broad day flooded the loft. And then we could see, in the swath of sunlight, the stray clover bud, or jewelweed, or fireweed or evening primrose, or robin’s plantain, Thistle, or chicory, even once great mullein— the leaf that’s called velvet dock.
Columbarium by Susan Stewart